Inside Out reminds me of how animations are not just for children.
It plays on the five emotions living in ‘Headquarters’, the control centre inside the mind of a child called Riley the film characters Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust help guide her in everyday life, showing us how she works and feels from,well, the inside out.
With Joy having main control over the years, it all changes as the family packs up from their Mid west life and the home Riley grew up in to move to San Francisco. As Riley moves away from her friends and starts a new school, Joy begins to struggle to maintain Riley’s happiness with the disruption of Sadness and the others as they try to work around this new environment. This soon leads them both to be accidently kicked out of Headquarters leaving only Fear, Anger and Disgust in charge.
From here a whole other adventure starts as we are taken through where all the memories go. With an array of colours and excitement all working deep down in the memory bank, passing through dream land, meeting Riley’s childhood imaginary friend, all the while as they try to catch the train of thought back to Headquarters before any more damage takes place.
Getting back is not so simple though, the longer they are away, the more Riley’s personality islands deteriorate making them constantly change their plan of action as each path back disappears and soon no emotion can take effect on her.
This actually turned out to be a much more serious film than I expected, keeping us entertained while being taught challenging concepts. It’s artistic and more of a coming of age in the form of cute, and some annoying but colourful characters.
We are shown the inherent difficulties of growing up from a fresh viewpoint, learning about what makes you, you. It’s a convoluted process which was explained fantastically this way, while still managing to be fun.
Inside Out is a brilliant, original story, but not sure how the kids will feel about it as it deals with the complexity of emotions and how certain life changing situations can affect us.
So might be a little dark as we pretty much watch a teenage girl emotionally break down, with the fearlessness to be gloomy as the thesis of the film. It leaves you with the insight that true joy comes when every emotion is recognised and dealt with in a healthy way.
It’s a psychologically complex stance for a children’s film that will have you emotionally involved but I found this a very interesting take. Certainly not what I expected but it’s a definite must see.
Running Time: 94 MIN
Director: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Genre: Animated / Family
Starring: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black