Pixar continues to shine! Inside Out, the latest animated film by the studio, demonstrates yet again that storytelling supersedes special effects. Originally conceived by Pete Docter, Inside Out is all about relationships and emotions, especially during times of transition; be it geographical relocation or the change from childhood into puberty. Good storytelling is the ability to tell the tale of one individual in a manner that all watching can relate. That is where Pixar proves time and again their mastery. This film project had been in development for years, and Docter was supported by a creative team that didn’t settle for less than brilliant. Fortunately Pixar’s animation skills do not fall far behind, making Inside Out a pure delight.
The plot follows a young girl who is relocating with her parents from Minnesota to San Francisco. In the process we get to meet the inner workings of the human mind. Granted, parts of Inside Out may remind some of us of Woody Allen’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know… brain scene, but Inside Out is not about the loin but rather about the heart. Joy and Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust all come to life, and take us on a tour of the infinite landscape of human memory, imagination and thought. The filmmakers should be commended for the manner in which they both simplified psychology so even kids can understand, yet layered the story with references adults will appreciate. The voice casting is terrific, especially notable are Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith and Lewis Black, and the animation is lovely.
My teenage kids who were a little reserved at first at seeing Inside Out, thinking it may be for younger children, love it too.