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Inside Out – Joint Review


Release Date: 19 June 2015 [USA]
Director: Pete Docter - Ronaldo Del Carmen
Writer: Pete Docter - Ronaldo Del Carmen [Story] - Meg LeFauve - Josh Cooley - Pete Docter [Screenplay]
Cast: Amy Poehler - Bill Hader - Lewis Black - Phyllis Smith - Mindy Kaling - Kaitlyn Dias

Posted June 22, 2015 by

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Inside Out – Joint Review

Theo’s Perspective:

I was thinking back on what was my very first Pixar experience as a kid, ‘Toy Story’, and I can’t understand why I so strongly believed it was also directed by Pete Docter, when he was “only” the Head Animator, and also the script, of course. Without considering the involvement of Disney in the growth of Pixar, I couldn’t imagine what the studio could have become if it weren’t for Pete Docter, and we could talk for hours about how a genius he is regarding his imagination and his abilities to put his stories into an animated form. Now we have the opportunity to watch yet another form of his brilliant mind, named “Inside Out”.

As it is the tradition for Pixar, the movie is introduced by a short production, always filled with poetry and subtle delicateness, about an island lava’ffair…

Inside Out’ allows us to witness the life inside Riley’s mind : Riley is this typical 11 years old little girl, driven by her emotions through the different steps of her life : Joy (Voice by Amy Poehler), Sadness (Voice by Phyllis Smith), Fear (Voice by Bill Hader), Disgust (Voice by Mindy Kaling) and Anger (Voice by Lewis Black). The beginning of the film shows us how these emotion interact on Riley’s life, how they sort out the memories generated by them, and how social structures such as Family, Honesty and Friends are built within the mind of this little girl. As it should be for every little girl around the world, her life is mostly driven by Joy, and Joy his trying her best to keep Sadness away, to cool down Anger, to reassure Fear, or make Disgust behave in front of broccolis or any other weird dishes.

But Riley is now eleven, and has to follow her parents out of Minnesota to San Francisco, leaving behind friends, hockey team, beautiful house… and of course Sadness will eventually get her hands in any place she can due to this new overwhelming situation. The big question is to know if Joy will be able to rebalance Riley’s life.

This uncanny adventure leads us to places that we all have think about at some point, but, as far as I can remember, were never shown on screen in a movie, animated or not : the brain, the memories whether is it short-term or long-term, “Imagination Land”, the limbo where fallen memories are forever forgotten, the “Train of Thought”… you even get to understand why this irritating commercial music get stuck inside your head, to the point of driving you crazy !

Aside from the amazing performance of designing such an universe, we are served a truly pleasant story about what it is to grow up, to let go, and about how emotions that we see as “negative” may sometimes be “good”, and have a positive influence on your life.

This movie will make you cry and laugh, no doubt about it. If you do have children, go watch it with them ; and if you don’t have any kids, you will want to have some, to allow them to have such precious memories as Riley’s. Once again Pete Docter strikes us with a perfect animated film, which may have some flaws in the “realism” of how a brain works, but hey, come on, it’s not a bad thing to get back to our childhood once in a while for a couple of hours… Seriously, go watch ‘Inside Out’, you won’t regret it.

Written By:

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Theo Tessa
Full Contributor


Ruben’s Perspective:

Let’s just start by saying that, at this point, it’s pretty obvious that Pixar knows what they’re doing. They’ve released 15 movies to this point, and all of them are visually astounding, and at the absolute least, highly entertaining. Whatever is in the water at that place, well, I want some. I want a lot of it. Douse me in it, pump it through the shower system of my apartment. The creative juices which flow at Pixar are rich in vitamins, minerals, and 100 percent pure awesome.

Pixar’s latest film is INSIDE OUT which delves deep into a brilliantly colored, Rube Goldberg- inspired version of our own mind. It’s as beautiful and detailed as every Pixar movie is. Even if a particular story lacks some punch like in CARS 2 or … well, that’s about it, you can’t take away the fact that Pixar’s computer generated works of art are as impressive as it gets. These movies shine in a way that few other animated or even CG slathered, live-action movies ever do.

I’m not going to spend more time on Inside Out’s visuals because, as incredible as they are, that’s only part of what makes Pixar’s filmography so fantastic and timeless. What Pixar has a tight grasp of, beyond what most every other studio in Hollywood, including Disney itself, is the storytelling. Yes, I’m one of those film fans who harps on story. I understand that not every movie will have some deeper philosophical level, but every movie should AND could have a story at its core that’s beyond getting from one action scene to the next. Pixar not only understands this, but lives by it, quite literally, as they’ve shared their 22 Rules for Phenomenal Storytelling.

So, what about this “philosophical depth” that I mentioned? Is Inside Out really deep? Well, yes and no. It’s not a Jodorowsky film or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Remember, it’s a kids movie. But like all great entertainment designed for our younger humans, adults can mentally munch on some of the concepts, while kids enjoy more of the frantic, animated action.

Inside Out takes a look at the way we function as people. Particularly the way some of our most basic emotions, Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith) , Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Dsisgust (Mindy Kaling), develop and coexist. Pixar’s talented animators seamlessly captured the physicality of the wild emotional interactions going on inside of Riley Anderson’s (Kaitlyn Dias) preteen mind. Though they are exaggerated and played for laughs, the sincerity of the film, and the way viewers are capable of relating to its imaginative, fantasy story, is the definition of what great storytelling is all about.

If you’re like me, you let movies take you on whatever ride they have planned. A lot of times the ride is easily forgotten not long after. This isn’t a critique on modern movies. It’s hard to make a good movie, and even harder to make a great one. Pixar anthropomorphized some of our most basic emotions, and created a funny, exciting, heartbreaking, and inspiring cinematic journey. It’s a sincere, brilliant look at our life as children and the things that govern our choices. They’ve turned the mind into a a rich, detailed, and thought-provoking world that is nothing short of a great film.

I don’t take much time trying to figure out what Pixar movie is “the best.” They’re all crafted by people who love what they do and are ridiculously good at it. What I will say is that Inside Out looks at the human condition in a way that is clever, touching, and undeniably Pixar.

Written by:

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Ruben R. Diaz
Freelance Contributor


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