Film Review: ‘Inside Out’ is a Loving Masterwork of Pixar Animation

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – It starts with the imagination, and the story that comes from that lightning inner creativity. Nobody, it seems, does it better than Pixar Animation, and they are taking it all to a new level. For your consideration, and in a perfect world a candidate for Best Picture, “Inside Out.” Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

What is striking is the simplicity of the story, imagining the brain as a control center having a switch oriented panel, with personified “controllers” representing Joy, Anger, Fear, Sadness and Disgust. Whoever “controls” the panel controls the emotion of the human – in this case an 11 year old girl going through a life transition. The structure of this vision, presupposing that the brain is made up of colorful “go to” points for mental survival, is nothing short of genius. It works immediately upon introduction, and builds throughout the girl’s state of being until it blooms into a glorious resolution. There are two stories…the heroics of the “controllers” trying to save her psyche, and the girl’s story as the results of those efforts unfold, which includes several poignant setbacks. This, my friends, is must-see for everyone who loves movies that redeem, inspire and especially entertain.

Riley (voice of Kaitlyn Dias) is a generally happy 11-year old girl, content with her parents and a vigorous life in Minnesota. Her brain, controlled from a central panel by the personified states-of-being named Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). Joy is the main controller, and has her developed points of reference (Family, Wackiness, Friends), the villages built up that keeps Riley on track.

But when the father (Kyle McLachlan) of Riley’s family decide to move her and her mother (Diane Lane) to San Francisco, Riley’s brain control center gets a wrench thrown into it, as the negative feelings take over. This in turn wrecks the survival villages, the memory banks, and all manner of the brain’s psychic functions, including an old imaginary friend named Bing Bong (Richard Kind). It’s up to Joy to save the day, but how?

”Inside Out” opens everywhere in 3D and standard screenings on June 19th. See local listings for 3D screenings and show times. Featuring the voices of Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Mindy Kaling, Diane Lane, Kyle McLachlan, Paula Poundstone and Frank Oz. Screenplay by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley. Story created and directed by Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Inside Out”

Inside Out
Sadness (center) is flanked by Fear, Disgust, Joy and Anger in ‘Inside Out’
Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Inside Out”

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