The original storytelling that Pixar became known for is back in full force with Pete Docter’s Inside Out.
Note: This review was originally published on Hypable in May. We’re bringing it back to the top of the site to hear your feedback on the movie.
Framed within a young girl named Riley who’s just moved to San Francisco with her mother and father, five emotions voiced by Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, and Bill Hader try to fix a major internal breakdown set off by the big move and one of their own.
Pixar once again aims at the heartstrings of viewers by tackling an undeniably universal subject: Yourself. By asking you to look within, Inside Out successfully strikes again and again. The movie asks and answers an interesting question that affects everyone: Can good moments in life come out of the sad? It’s when that question is most explicitly asked toward the end of the film that your emotions will begin to flow (Sniffles could be heard all around the theater).
By all accounts, Inside Out is an excellent film. The animation is gorgeous, the characters each bring something interesting to the table, and the film beautifully delivers two elements that are so important to creating a Pixar film: Fun and heart — the two keys required to appeal to viewers of all ages.
One of my favorite aspects of Inside Out was how it brought to life the settings which have always been a part of our minds but that we’ve never visualized before. Prepare to be intrigued and entertained as you see the areas of imagination, dream production, the subconscious, and long-term memory. Within these areas of the mind are a whole other cast of interesting characters, including Riley’s imaginary friend Bing Bong, who is easily one of the studio’s most memorable supporting characters to date.
In terms of its placement on Pixar’s mantel, I’d rank Inside Out very high. If we’re going off raw emotion and storytelling, it’s certainly the best feature film from the animation studio since 2010’s Toy Story 3 and 2009’s Up. A second viewing will help me get a better hold on how it will be remembered in Pixar’s legacy, but for now it’s safe to say this one is an instant classic.
Pixar President Ed Catmull said two years ago that they’re aiming to create at least one original film every year. Let’s hope Inside Out is the beginning of a new era of wonderful, original storytelling.
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