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REVIEW — “Inside Out”


Inside out is the story of a little girl, Riley.  In her head exists a group of personified emotions. These emotions do their best to work together in their control tower and assist in Riley’s interactions with the world around her. However when Riley moves to an entirely new city, her team of emotions become conflicted on how to deal with this uncharted territory.


As always, there is a delightful short preceding the feature film titled “Lava”, a musically narrated love story about two islands in an archipelago.  Kuana Torres Kahele  and Napua Greig sing a lovely duet of patience and longing that will melt your heart. If you don’t think it’t the cutest thing you might be dead inside. Maybe. I’m not a doctor.

The voice acting in Inside Out is absolutely perfect. Amy Pohler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Mindi Kaling and Lewis Black are wonderful in their roles of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger.  Each emotion is equally hilarious and memorable. A better cast could not have been chosen.


The only thing I believe Inside Out lacks is that iconic Pixar animation “wow” moment.  For example, when thousands of balloons are released into the sky and carry away a house in UP.  Or, when Sully and Mike ride into the gigantic warehouse of doors in Monsters Inc.  Each one of us can think of our favorite Disney-Pixar movie and recall the very scene that visually left us in awe. As much as I adore Inside Out, I cannot think of a moment that could measure up to that level of wonder.


However I’m torn on whether or not this is a negative thing. Inside Out does an extraordinary job at creating the world that exists in Riley’s mind.  The entire network inside her is efficient and the way they embody intangible things like feelings, ideas and memory is ingenious. Even numerous little details like the double helix staircase rails are so clever and fun to spot.

Perhaps the Disney –Pixar spectacle this time isn’t experienced with your eyes, but stirred in your soul.  This film is composed of many impeccably crafted moments that are both touching and insightful. What makes me love Inside out is that that it is one of the most emotionally intelligent films I have ever seen. Joy is technically the only positive emotion in the team. The rest of the emotions, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness are personalities with more negative connotations. It would be very easy to vilainize these negative emotions and pit them against each other, but they don’t. At least, not beyond their humorous squabbles. They all play a vital role in caring for their beloved human Riley. In fact, Inside out doesn’t feature a completely antagonistic character. The opposition comes from life and circumstances. I found this incredibly refreshing because, isn’t that how life actually is? Rarely does one encounter an actual nemesis that must be defeated.


Inside out is an exceptional movie that will entertain and resonate with both adults and children. It is a perfectly orchestrated emotional journey of growth and acceptance.  The animation, while not as dazzling as previous films, is still awesome. I saw the 3D version which was good but not necessary at all. Save the money and see it without the glasses.


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