Pixar momentarily jumps out of the sequel game to deliver an original tale about the “little voices inside your head.”
On the non-sequel front, Inside Out is Pixar’s best film since 2009′s Up. The story, while fairly high concept, is presented in a pretty simple way. Joy, Anger, Fear, Sadness and Disgust are the “voices” inside Riley’s head, and together they keep the little girl happy and content. Unfortunately though, growing up is hard, and when a highly stressful and upsetting time for Riley arrives, the inexperienced crew suddenly find themselves on a dangerous adventure to figure out how to end her depression. From there the film bounces back and forth between Riley’s actions/behavior in the real world and what’s going on in her head as her gang of voices scramble about.
In classic Pixar form, the film works great for both kids and adults. The former will not only be entertained by the quick-paced, colorful film, but they’ll learn about the brain and emotions. As for the latter, the entertainment factor is there, but it’s less in the form of Anger’s head catching on fire and more about acknowledging just how ridiculous the big, gray smushy thing in your skull is at all times. I also walked out of the theater feeling incredibly nostalgic about a lot of things – childhood friends, radio jingles and other items from way back that have long been stored away in my head. In other words, Inside Out is about the brain, and it will get your brain swirling about. Success!
Inside Out is too original, funny, charming, heartfelt and clever to be missed, so give into the good voices in your head and go see it immediately.
I can live with films like Monsters University, Finding Dory and Cars 3 if Pixar keeps occasionally delivering brilliance like Inside Out.