Inside Out (2015)

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****/*****

Have you ever wanted to read somebody’s mind?

The latest animated adventure release from Pixar takes us into the mind of 11 year old Riley, who struggles with the fact that her family has uprooted to a new city. The main characters are the emotions that control Riley’s everyday responses to the world around her. These come in the form of Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear and Sadness.

Funny and witty, this film delves into the girls unconscious, making it a sort of hyper-real universe with a screen into what Riley is seeing. The way that the brains functions and how memories are contained is very clever – in the form of crystal balls of different colours which indicate the emotion that captured each memory. In addition to this, other parts of the conscious are explored such as children’s imagination and abstract thought.

Directed by Pete Docter, With an all-star voice cast lead by comedienne Amy Poehler as Joy, known for her happy, bouncy personality makes her perfect for this role. Poehler is supported by Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader and Phyllis Smith, which all are perfectly appropriate for their respective characters.

Finishing off the star cast is Richard Kind as imaginary friend Bing Bong, Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan as Riley’s parents, and of course Kaitlyn Dias voices Riley herself.

The soundtrack is melodic and sweet, perfectly complimenting the wonder and magic of the imagination, whilst also leading the audience into the melancholic anguish when Joy is faced with despair.

The way that comedy was presented in the form of day-to-day occurrences really stood out to me and has made this film very special. For example, a little exchange between Riley’s parents at the dinner table, in which the audience are invited into their individual ‘mind control rooms’. The male fathers’ emotions cannot understand what the mothers’ female emotions are trying to hint at, whilst the female emotions tut and hiss that the male emotions are useless. In addition, the panic of unnamed teenage boys’ emotions as his mind control room goes into meltdown because Riley (A girl!) has spoken to him.

A very interesting concept that is thorough in its’ approach and its’ delivery, Inside Out is in my mind a stunning success. Beautifully colourful and gripping from start to finish with an array of funny and well thought out characters, a must see for audience members of any age.

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