An emo­tional roller­coaster

The Tribune (NZ) - - Backyard Banter -

In­side Out (G)

Di­rected by Pete Doc­ter& Ron­nie del Car­men 1 hour 50 min­utes ★★★★★ Re­viewed by Carla Amos

In­side Out takes ev­ery emo­tion on an ad­ven­ture-filled rocket ride that will have you laugh­ing out loud and wish­ing you had brought tis­sues (for once, I was pre­pared).

Yep, Pixar is back at the top of its game with a film that ri­vals The In­cred­i­bles and Mon­sters Inc with its crack­er­jack hu­mour, adept script and as­ton­ish­ing, en­tranc­ing an­i­ma­tion. It’s sim­ply de­lec­ta­ble.

In­side Out au­da­ciously ex­plores the re­al­i­ties of mov­ing from child­hood to young adult­hood.

As we all know, grow­ing up is hard to do; it’s no ex­cep­tion for 11-year-old Ri­ley, who is up­rooted from her comfy, happy Min­nesota life when her fa­ther starts a new job in San Fran­cisco.

Ri­ley’s take on her new life is shown in snip­pets from her per­spec­tive but also from in­side her head – where her emo­tions have ul­ti­mate con­trol.

There’s the glass-half-full Joy (Amy Poehler), skit­tery doom sayer Fear (Bill Hader), de­ter­mined jus­tice-seeker Anger (Lewis Black), gate­keeper of all that’s un­seemly Dis­gust (Mindy Kal­ing) and down-in-the-dumps Sad­ness (Phyl­lis Smith).

The colour-coded emo­tions (idea for young’ins to keep track) live at Head­quar­ters, the con­trol cen­tre in­side Ri­ley’s mind, where they guide her through life’s many ups and downs.

As Ri­ley and her emo­tions strug­gle to ad­just to the new life in San Fran­cisco, chaos en­sues at Head­quar­ters.

Although Joy, Ri­ley’s main and most im­por­tant emo­tion, tries to keep things pos­i­tive, the emo­tions are at odds on how best to nav­i­gate this strange seem­ingly un­wel­come world.

Catas­tro­phe strikes, lead­ing Joy and Sad­ness on an ad­ven­ture to put Ri­ley’s life back on track be­fore it’s too late.

They en­ter realms they never knew ex­isted and ex­plore what truly makes Ri­ley tick. They see the mem­ory banks and the work­ers who dump old or sup­pos­edly un­nec­es­sary mem­o­ries for new one. They en­ter the deep dark sub­con­scious and en­counter a char­ac­ter that might call for some parental dam­age con­trol for any sen­si­tive lit­tlies.

They also meet Bing Bong (Richard Kind), Ri­ley’s nearly for­got­ten imag­i­nary friend.

Bing Bong makes dol­phin sounds, is part ele­phant, part cat, but mostly ‘‘cot­ton candy’’ and cries candy! Kind steals ev­ery scene he’s in and truly tugs at the heart strings as his char­ac­ter joins the ef­fort to bring Ri­ley back from the brink of de­pres­sion.

While at times dark and tearin­duc­ing, In­side Out is ex­cel­lent fun. Clev­erly timed laugh-out-loud mo­ments are in­ter­spersed with shows of emo­tion amid an eye­feast of other-worldly an­i­ma­tion.

Adults and chil­dren will be equally en­tranced and af­fected by what has to be the best movie of the year.

Make sure you hang around for the clos­ing cred­its. You won’t be dis­ap­pointed — and you’ll never look at a cat the same way again.


The life of Ri­ley’s five emo­tive faces from the cer­tain-to-ap­peal-to-ev­ery­one an­i­mated marvel, In­side Out.

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