Inside Out

Movie Review: Inside Out

Inside Out

Cary, NC — Inside Out is Pixar’s first movie since Monsters University in 2013 and their first original work since Brave in 2012. Thankfully, the wait has been more than worth it, as Inside Out is easily one of the best movies to come out this year so far.

It will, without a doubt, comfortably rank near the top of Pixar’s beloved catalog.

Here Come the Water Works…

Warning–this movie comes from the same director as Up, so that should give you an idea of how many times you’re going to tear up. Personally, I counted four times.

It’s totally worth it, though, as the Pixar crew has made the most complex-yet-simple films to ever deal with the idea of one’s own identity and emotions.

Meet Your Emotions

The bulk of the movie takes place inside the mind of a little girl named Riley.

Five main emotions are represented here. First and foremost there is Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation), Fear, voiced by Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live), Anger, voiced by Lewis Black (The Daily Show), Disgust, voiced by Mindy Kaling (The Office) and Sadness, voiced by Phyllis Smith (The Office).

When the movie starts, Joy is clearly the authority of Riley’s mind, having made sure that most of Riley’s memories are happy. But, when Riley and her parents move from their Minnesota home to San Francisco, Joy loses control to Sadness and must go on an epic and emotional journey through Riley’s brain to save her.

Complex Yet Simple

Okay, that sounds a little dark and depressing, and, first and foremost, I will admit that I’m probably doing a disservice to the plot by even trying to describe it.

It’s complex and emotional, yes, but the filmmakers have done a remarkable job by having it come across as streamlined and as simple as possible. Even the youngest of viewers will be able to follow, but even better is that they will be just as invested in the story as the adults are.

Hilarious References

While a wonderful deconstruction of a child’s mind and feelings, the movie never forgets to be funny. Inside Out is filled with belly laughs thanks to the meticulous detail the filmmakers used. Keep your eyes peeled for numerous references to other Pixar movies.

Also, the amount of side characters that pop in and out at a moment’s notice is mind boggling. Some of these characters have no more than 30 seconds to leave a mark, but, somehow, they do it. One of my favorite moments involved a hilarious reference to Chinatown. Who else but Pixar could get away with something like that in a kid’s movie?

See It!

I really can’t say enough about Inside Out. It’s just so good. If I had one complaint, it’s that I was forced to see it in 3D, because my local theater didn’t have any other option. The extra dimension added little to the proceedings, so, if you have a choice, see it in 2D. The movie is gorgeous to look at and doesn’t need any up-sales to be appreciated.

See? Even my one complaint isn’t the movie’s fault! It’s that good! Pixar is finally back in full force, and I for one couldn’t be happier. Inside Out is absolutely worth the price of admission.


Jordan Hunt covers movies for CaryCitizen. Read more Movie Reviews. Photo from Facebook.