Review: Inside Out

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FROM the studio behind Up, Finding Nemo and the Toy Story trilogy comes Inside Out, a clever and imaginative new animated feature.

* * * * * *

On General Release

Pixar’s first film in two years, ­Inside Out takes us inside the mind of eleven-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), who is forced to relocate to San Francisco with her parents. The move causes friction for her emotions – Joy, Anger, Sadness, Fear and Disgust – as they attempt to regulate Riley’s moods amid the turbulent changes in her life.

But when Joy and Sadness are thrown out of the control room and into the wilderness that is Riley’s mind, they must learn to work together in the hope of restoring emotional balance.

Constantly dazzling and enterprising, Pixar has come back from its brief hiatus to deliver another slice of intelligent, animation brilliance in Inside Out.

Developed over several years, as most animated features are, the narrative is well-defined and the backdrop has been fleshed out to ­include the likes of Imagination Land and Abstract Thought.

The leaps and bounds in CGI capabilities are clearly evident, the film’s make-up practically dripping with beauty and small but striking visual touches.

The wit and insight beneath the animation is overwhelming in depth and honesty – the alterations in Riley’s feelings symbolic to all. It’s this that perhaps defines Inside Out.

Tackling heavyweight themes such as the loss of childhood innocence and the acceptance of sadness as a real emotion is never easy, but to make them as accessible as they are here is truly special.

As true as the film is, it is also immensely entertaining. The humour is consistently on point, with slapstick and observational comedy mixed seamlessly.

The voice cast – including Amy Poehler and Phyllis Smith – imbue their characters with such infectious personalities, and there are plenty of surprise arrivals along the way. All of which pull together to make Inside Out one of the best films of the year. It is smart and tremendously perceptive but never at the expense of its humour.