Riley is an 11 year old girl who is living happily with her family until they decide to abruptly move home. However this is not the plot, it’s the setting. What actually happens in Inside Out is that two of Riley’s emotions (Joy and Sadness) are accidently separated from headquarters and must find their way back before Riley’s core memories are lost forever.
The trailer would have you believe that Inside Out is a light hearted animated comedy about what it would be like if feeling had feelings. This is not the case. Inside Out is not light hearted. I have not cried this much in a long time. Inside Out is a profound and often incredibly beautiful look at the death of childhood and well the human mind in general. The film manages somehow to explain the way a child thinks in a way that anyone can understand but that also doesn’t remove any of the complexity. Without a doubt the most ambitious film I have seen this year, and probably the most successful.
Inside Out is a film that not only showcases the emotions, but also takes the viewer through them as well. You will feel Disgust (broccoli Pizza), you will feel anger (the same), you will feel Fear (any danger the main characters face to be honest). But most of all you will feel Joy and Sadness. Lots of Sadness. Lots and lots of Sadness. And the reason you feel all of these so vividly is because the characters are so well drawn and developed you instantly feel and care for them as if they were you own emotions. I’m telling you there were points in the movie in which I went past trying not to cry and went into damage limitation mode (trying not to gulp quite so audibly). But this emotional draining was perfectly balanced with the humorous light side. And there are plenty of proper belly laughs to be had.
Overall, after watching Inside Out and seeing how much money it’s made you come to the realisation that there really is no excuse for some of the more lacklustre animations we’ve seen. Just look at Home for crying out loud. I adored this movie. A truly universal film with something for everyone. This is, in my opinion, Pixar’s greatest effort to date. And that is really saying something.