On the first of July I went to a special pre screening of Pixar’s Inside Out. After short film Lava, I was already in a good mood and was very enthusiastic to see what would happen next! I’ve only seen the first trailer of Inside Out, but I was already very curious. So what is the film about?
What goes around in the head of an 11-year-old girl when she and her parents move to another city? When she has to make new friends at a new school and wants to keep on playing ice hockey, which used to be her hobby? In the latest Disney Pixar film, we find this out through five different characters, which are located in the head of this 11-year-old girl called Riley. Shortly after Riley and her parents move to San Francisco, it becomes clear that Riley has a hard time to adapt in this new environment and has trouble finding pleasure in things. This is when the five emotions in her head need to work together to help Riley at this stage. During a great adventure through Riley’s memories, the emotions Joy and Sadness need to preserve a number of key memories, and we find that happy memories sometimes can cause tears.
Inside Out should be one of the best films Pixar has made since Up – a film I was never a true fan of. Directors Pete Doctor and Ronaldo Del Carmen – who were also part of the writing team – absolutely did their best. The film is already a few weeks out in America and the positive reviews keep coming up! This somewhat psychological film for beginners shows what impact moving to another city can have on a little girl and the contradictory feelings that it entails. The viewer enters the emotional world of Riley, where we meet the five emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. The voice of the always upbeat and positive minded Joy, is voiced by Amy Poehler. Poehler did an amazing job and she really drags you into the story. If Joy doesn’t know how to handle things, it will be very difficult. The remaining voice actors are relatively lesser-known actors, but each bring out their emotions very well. Phyllis Smith voices the always sad and depressing Sadness in a very convincing way and the animation completes it perfectly.
When Riley is born, we see her emotions come to life and how the process of storing memories begins. Memories and core memories have their own place and also have their own island in the brains of Riley. While getting older, more and more memories are made and each have their own emotion. Just like with everybody else, the choices you make are affected by your emotions. These emotions, who are living in Riley’s brains, are in Inside Out actually characters and are responsible for the action and choices Riley makes. Joy is always upbeat and positive which has a positive effect on the other emotions. She’s is because of her positivity also the most important emotion. Sadness is there for you when you feel sad and need someone to cry with. At one point these contradictory characters, Joy and Sadness, must work together to make sure Riley doesn’t end up in a state of depression. The other three emotions are more supporting roles. Anger is the exhaust valve, Fear is the most observant emotion and makes sure Riley doesn’t befall something bad. Disgust actually finds almost everything dirty and calls San Francisco ‘San Franstinko’. However, these five emotions does have a big influence on each other and therefore also on Riley’s behavior and choices.
At some point in the film two emotions are getting ‘lost’ and can’t help Riley anymore in this difficult phase. It’s only then when you find out how important the different emotions are and that we can’t think well without them. Without Joy and Sadness in the headquarter we get some interesting and funny moments. However Inside Out isn’t a comedy. Of course, there are funny moments which makes you laugh out loud, but it also moves you and is touching sometimes. Some scenes are therefore very recognizable, regarding to the nightmare and the ‘lava-scene’. The characters of the different emotions are so different which also also provides some hilarious moments. The focus is however more on the (negative) feelings Riley has after the move to San Francisco. From a positive and cheerful girl to an angry girl. How does Riley regains her positivity and returns into her positive flow? The emotions Joy and Sadness are the ones to help her with that.
Another really funny character is Bing Bong – voiced by Richard Kind – the imaginary friend of a young Riley. The pink colored Bing Bong is a cross between a cat, dolphin and elephant and lives between Riley’s memories. He is the helping hand of Joy and Sadness, but of course it all goes a little differently than hoped for the two emotions. One of the last scenes with the funny Bing Bong may leave some of us quite moved. As the film mainly takes place in the head of Riley, the most interesting characters are also there. Riley’s parents are also present in the film, but there is only one scene that really stands out. This is the famous scene from the trailer where we see the emotions of the parents as well. It is an absolute pleasure to finally see the whole scene. During the end credits we also get a sneak peek on other characters that appeared in the film, like the teacher and some animals.
Disney Pixar’s animated film Inside Out definitely is a success! The film shows how important it is to stay positive. Even when life gets hard, stay positive and everything will end well! We also learn that good memories can turn into sad ones when you miss those happy times more than the memory makes you happy. The film is funny, touching and sometimes recognizable. The characters may be voiced by relatively unknown actors, they all convey the emotions very well. Inside Out seems to have a very original concept and therefore it’s also a successful film. The only point of criticism are the 3D effects, which do not add any value. A visit to the 2D version is therefore without glasses on your nose, maybe a more pleasant experience!