Inside out (Pixar production) Review

The new Pixar animation Inside Out could easily have been called Out There. It’s as bizarre, imaginative and authentically psychedelic as anything produced in mainstream animation. At this point in the fortunes of the once-infallible creative powerhouse, you wouldn’t have bet on Pixar coming up with anything very outré. Bought by Disney in 2006, the studio hadn’t produced anything truly inspired that wasn’t a sequel since Up in 2009. Given the humdrum quality of Cars 2 and Monsters University and 2012’s well-intentioned but forgettable Brave, it seemed as if the studio had lost its penchant for exotic risk.
But Inside Out is in the top rank of Pixar productions with its combination of audacity, intelligence, wit and emotional reward. Directed and co-written by Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc and Up) and co-directed by Ronnie del Carmen, Inside Outstarts from a boldly abstract premise: the narrative plays out within the psyche of a girl named Riley and the film’s characters are her feelings.

At the start, one of those feelings, Joy, asks: “Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head?” The next questions that arise are: what might such psychic events actually look like? And how might they generate a story that can be sustained for 102 minutes? Inside Out meets these challenges with an inventiveness that’s appropriately mind-boggling.
 “Inside Out” is new in theaters this weekend, and it’s a glorious return to classic form for Pixar. After cranking out numerous original hits, they’ve relied on a few sequels that haven’t been quite up to par…but here they show that they’ve still got their fastball. Young Riley and her family are moving, and inside her head the real movements are taking place. The five primary emotions of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger run the show, and it’s a hilarious and creative take on the human being thought process. Joy and Sadness must go on an adventure deep inside the mind; but we get a nice sampling of all five throughout the story. Amy Poehler and Lewis Black stand out as Joy and Anger respectively; but the crew working together really make the story tick. Kids can learn how to balance their emotions while being entertained, and adults will find plenty of humor geared towards them as well. It’s more than just a return to form for Pixar; “Inside Out” might be one the best films they’ve ever made.

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