June 18, 2015

CINEMA | Sweet Emotions – Pixar Goes 'Inside Out'

Disney Pixar | Inside Out

Pixar has done it again. Inside Out is a return to form for the animation studio after a string of sequels and more conventional fare. It's a masterful film that uses animation to splendidly explore the complexities of human emotions, abstract ideas, and feelings in childhood. Up director Pete Docter has crafted another truly touching and affecting universal story stretching the medium of CG animation.

Amy Poehler is particularly delightful anchoring the voice cast as the cheerleader Joy in charge of the emotions Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), the 11-year-old girl we follow, feels inside her head and is seen visually as a command centre. In fact, all of Riley's emotions are represented as anthropomorphized characters (think Herman's Head) including Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). All the voices play well off each other and create a nice mixture to recreate a sense of physical comedy.

While the mechanics of physically embodied emotions toying with the inner workings of a little girl can get a tad muddled, how the characters represent her actions metaphorically is quite amusing when factored into Riley's burgeoning adolescence. The way sadness inexplicably grows, playing a more meaningful role in life, as she gets older and takes over is a poignant look at the pains of getting older. The film expresses our feelings by visually explaining the inner workings of human emotions in such an effortless and recognizable way despite its high concept.

Inside Out succeeds in predictable Pixar fashion as it thoughtfully creates a strange but familiar world reflecting the humanity and feelings we all experience. Hot it expresses the growing up and its pains may not only be aesthetically pleasing but remains fairly insightful. The film brings real-world elements to describe and explore abstract concepts while addressing the evolving nature of memories in a very identifiable yet firmly animated setting.

More | AV Club / ScreenCrush / The Dissolve

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