If you ever read The Beezer, the highconcept of the latest Pixar animation will probably ring a few bells…
Release Date: 24 July
U | 94 minutes Directors: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen Cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Kaitlyn Dias, Richard Kind, Kyle MacLachlan, Diane Lane
The human brain is the most
mind- bogglingly complex organ known to man. There may not be any scientifically accurate grey matter in sight but on the evidence of Inside Out, the latest tour de force from animation maestros Pixar, no studio has a better understanding of what really makes us tick.
It’s the story of the chaotic emotions inside the head of schoolgirl Riley. Each of Riley’s five key feelings is personified in the form of Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear, who operate a control panel behind Riley’s eyes, rather like classic Beezer/ Beano strip The Numskulls. Joy is the dominant emotion, but when Riley’s parents move the family to San Francisco the memories that define Riley’s personality start to crumble, sending Joy and Sadness on a dangerous journey through Riley’s mind.
In recent years Pixar has suffered from the weight of expectation that their remarkable filmography inspires, which is why perfectly decent fare such as Brave and Monsters University felt ( relatively) disappointing. Inside Out is Pixar’s best since Toy Story 3 and ranks among their most mature and heartfelt films to date.
Most of the action takes place in Riley’s noggin – a beautifully vibrant brainscape where every memory is bottled in a colour- coded sphere, where dreams are the product of a reality- warping film studio and where dark thoughts lurk inside the sinister subconscious. It’s visually astonishing, and yet for a film with such a vivid exterior Inside Out is not afraid to deal with intricate ideas. There’s a powerful message contained within about accepting sadness as a part of growing up and moving on from the memories that define our childhood.
As you’d probably expect, it’s wonderfully animated, funny and full of superb vocal performances – particularly Poehler, who channels Parks And Rec’s Leslie Knope as the infectiously beguiling Joy; Smith’s Sadness, meanwhile, is the perfect comic foil. Younger viewers may have trouble getting their heads round the complex set- up, but Inside Out is a gem at any age – witty, moving and imaginative, Pixar back at their best.
“Nice orange. Or satsuma. Or clementine. Or tangerine. Or…”