Whenever there’s a new Disney/Pixar movie, I’m on tenterhooks until it’s out, feeding myself with trailers until it hits the big screen. Inside Out was the same, especially as there was no actual inkling on the plot for ages. Away on holiday for a long time, I had to wait until last week to finally run to the cinema and see it. I’d been told it was “alright” and “ok”, so I lowered my expectations a bit. But it was way better than I thought.
Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is a perfectly happy child, living in Minnesota with her parents. She’s a star on the hockey team and has a best friend. Inside her head, emotions Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kalling) are running the show, making sure Riley has a nice life. Joy is currently at the head of it all and she continuously keeps Sadness (Phyllis Smith) as far away as possible from the controls so as to ensure nothing goes wrong.
Riley’s core memories (which are all happy), have created islands (Hockey, Goofball, Family, Honesty and Friendship) which serve as personality traits for the individual.
Suddenly, Riley’s life is thrown for a loop: her father (Kyle MacLachlan) has accepted a new job in San Francisco and is uprooting the family. While her mother (Diane Lane) is trying to stay positive, Riley can feel her patience running thin. Just before her first day at a new school, Joy is trying with all her might to keep Riley from feeling low.
But just as the day is starting to go ok, Sadness accidentally touches a happy memory and makes it sad. The whole situation creates a sad core memory, which Joy tries to throw out, but as she does so, all the core memories, as well as both her and Sadness are sucked into “cleaning” machine and end up far from the command centre.
Left alone to “work” Riley, Fear, Disgust and Anger start creating a new personality which her parents mistake for typical pre-puberty moodiness, but which is in fact great distress. At the same time, Joy and Sadness, protecting the core memories, have to find their way back into the command centre.
This movie was definitely a lot better than what the trailers let on. One of the main characters wasn’t mentioned anywhere (and I’m not going to reveal him to you either), and Riley’s character and story are something that I wouldn’t mind seeing again as she progresses from child to teenager and even adult, a bit like Andy in Toy Story.
Unlike some voice actors who end up being bigger and better than the part they’ve been given (I’m looking at you, Genie ;)), everyone here just perfectly merges into the role they’ve been given. I barely recognised anyone because they were so good at being someone else.
Inside Out is a must-see for Disney and Pixar fans, and parents, children and everyone in between will enjoy this.
Pictures from: comebackmomma.com, showfilmfirst.com, rollingstone.com, wired.com, critics-associated.com