Film Review: Inside Out

Written and Directed by: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
Stars: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Lewis Black


“A family animation about cognitive neuroscience… This shouldn’t work, right?”


Link to IMDB:

What Is ‘Inside Out’ About?

Keeping it spoiler free… After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.

Why Did I Watch ‘Inside Out’?

Unlike many Disney Pixar animations (often prone to formulaic, child friendly, story structures) a big deal was made of this film’s originality. So much so, that it became a massive part of the way it was marketed.
If you’ve read my book, you’ll be aware of my own personal interest in this field, so I was fascinated to see how Disney were going to simplify such a complex subject matter into a fun animation – without it feeling like a science lesson.

What I Liked About ‘Inside Out’

Inside Out is a family film – not a kids film. Whereas adult references in Pixar films are often done as a subtle ‘wink’ to the parent. In ‘Inside Out’ there are scenes which have literally just been done for the adults, or to achieve a parents perspective.
I loved the simplistic idea of using marbles in a control tower to signify memories and the usage of strong colours to clearly define the different emotions. They also came up with a clever way of telling a story within a story, using a plot that offers a good excuse to explore the inner workings of the brain.

What I Didn’t Like About ‘Inside Out’

The writers on this film, had to find unique ways to articulate the science with playful imagery and it does this well for the most part. There is one scene where a group of characters take a shortcut through an ‘abstract thought’ station which borders on a lesson and feels a little forced.
Placing the target audience age group for this film is like pinning down soap. I really enjoyed it, but I doubt my daughter will make it all the way through this film for many years.

Good Or Bad?

Was this film any good? Yes, a fun family film.
Would I recommend it? Yes, unless your dead inside – it’s Disney after all.
Would I watch it again? Yes, I’m sure my daughter will love it – but when she’ll be old enough to sit through it is anyone’s guess.

Also I found a funny short video on the reaction of the Inside Out characters watching the Star Wars Force Awakens Trailer. Check it out:

Here are some other film reviews:
Red State
Ex Machina
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David P. Philip

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