In­side Out

If you ever read The Beezer, the high­con­cept of the latest Pixar an­i­ma­tion will prob­a­bly ring a few bells…

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Contents - Jor­dan Far­ley

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…”

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