Saturday, 8 August 2015
Inside Out (2015) (Review)
The most outstanding thing about Disney Pixar is its ability to create and make a seemingly child-targeted film appreciated by the masses; my early morning trip to the cinema to see the studio's latest offering - a studio who was perceived as declining in popularity, acclaim and innovation, I might add - was nothing more than a success, with equally as many children and adults enjoying the sublime delights of 2015's superior animation, Inside Out.
In Riley's conscious mind manifests five of her most prevalent emotions - Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust - who influence her memories, expression and actions, associating the emotions to specific events and situations in her life. 'Core' memories are curated which form the principal personalities that encompass Riley's being. Joy is Riley's foremost emotion with the goal in mind that Riley always feels happy and joyous, but fails to comprehend the importance of Sadness, dismissing the need for her in a caring, yet controllable manner. A detailed concept that just manages to be understood by all ages through the impeccable storytelling and narrative created by writer and producer Pete Docter.
A stellar voice cast featuring Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation, Mean Girls), Phyllis Smith (The Office, Bad Teacher) and Richard Kind is just the first in the building blocks that create one of Pixar's most creative and fresh ideas to date, with the voice works reflecting the emotions and characteristic perfectly. Poehler in particular brings so much to what could easily be a monotonous role through voice alone and is a real asset and talent in this film. Exciting visuals and exhilarating landscapes that burst with colour in every image help further and support the film's narrative, which later sees Joy and Sadness, after a destructive move, desperately attempt to return to the emotion console as Riley slips further into an apathetic state. These two stories, in two very different worlds, create a contrast which is only reinforced by the film's ending and ideology - the importance of joy and sadness in creating an emotionally complex and driven life.
Despite my own fears of using an overused cliche, the film is an emotional rollercoaster from start to end - but that's exactly what it is, and what it intended to be from the start. This is a film with a very clear identity and I applaud it because of that. The journey of these characters in the 102 minute Pixar masterclass reflects that of any human being, becoming the film's most important aspect and why it works so well; the adults watching with their children, or in my case, with a parent, recognise exactly the situation they have faced in their own lives, recalling the journey alongside the characters every step of the way. Emotionally dazzling and poignant, I cannot applaud Pixar enough of creating such a human story with such an abstract idea - emotions having emotions. Outstanding.
And whilst this has been one of the most enjoyable films of the year for me - and my new favourite animation film of all time, I want it to remain just that. One perfect film exploring the most human progression and development story of all. Whilst previous Pixar stories arguably warrant a sequel or franchise, this needs to stay as a standalone gem that Pixar should be absolutely thrilled and enamoured with, much like the audience and critics that have turned out and deservedly raved about such a spectacular and significant animation.
Summary: Poignant, heartfelt and sincere, Disney Pixar offer a masterclass in animation and storytelling in this visually delightful return to form with one of the most human and recognised stories every told - childhood.
Look out for: "Take her to the moon for me" - who knew you could get so emotional over an animated character. And who knew it could rain inside either. On my face. Anna Kendrick summed it up pretty well.