“Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head?” Pixar’s latest film Inside Out, Directed by Peter Docter (Up, Monsters Inc) and Ronaldo Del Carmen follows a young girl called Riley and the five personified emotions in her mind. I didn’t really plan on writing about this film, I went in expecting a standard fun, animated film and was blown away by how clever and thoughtful this film is.
Inside out is a pretty ambitious film that tackles the complicated idea of emotion in a lighthearted but powerful way. Visually, the film is bright and colourful encompassing all aspects of the mind including dreams, memories, subconscious and train of thought (shown by a literal train). In the beginning of the film the protagonist Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler is the leader of the team of emotions. Taking control and ensuring that Riley’s memories are in the majority, happy. She disregards the other emotions on the team and actively avoids letting Riley feel these emotions, in particular, Sadness, voiced by Phyllis Smith. The dynamic between these two characters is both funny and touching particularly towards the end. During the film, both Sadness and Joy become absent from Riley’s mind meaning she can feel neither of them. This causes her to have a kind of mental breakdown under the control of Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Anger (Lewis Black). I found it really interesting to see the feelings of a young girl validated. Riley isn’t shown as acting irrationally or stupidly, she is experiencing real emotions and real pain in this film and I think that is important.
There is a theme of nostalgia throughout the film and how it relates to the fluidity of personality; how one can be changed by experiences and how that can be sad, but it is a part of life. I think this film has a really positive message and is really brilliant!