Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Riley's guiding emotions— Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness—live in Headquarters, the control centre inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life and tries to keep things positive, but the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
I just knew this was gonna be amazing. Such a great idea for an animated movie, even by Pixar's standards. It's truly a perfectly executed vision that did not disappoint on almost all levels. There's a lot of fun to be had with this, it's one of the funnier and more thought provoking Pixar movies. The scene where Bing Bong disappears is also extremely sad. I could also tell that this is one of Pixar's more mature films, about the struggles of growing up. It explored Nostalgia for most of the movie without even using the word. When sadness touched a core memory and turned it blue, it was a symbol for Riley feeling nostalgic for her best memories. In my book, this is yet another Pixar classic.
Reviewed by CubsandCulture5 / 10
Doctor's only real misfire. It is so fundamentally confused
This film is very frustrating because it is so close to being a wonderful experience that ranks among the very best Pixar. But the concept is just not suited to a longer narrative film-especially one that is intended to be a bittersweet comedy. The emotion-people are driving around us people-people is a funny, striking concept. The film flashes brilliance repeatedly by using this concept logically. Lewis Black as Anger is some of the best casting of all time. But alas the film doesn't work. I believe the following three conceptual problems are what do the film in.
First Riley is not a real character in the film because Riley is not the seat of consciousness-Joy is. (This is true for all human "characters" and their dominate emotions.) This means that the story of Riley adjusting to moving to San Francisco rings entirely hollow because Riley is a mere automaton. She feels *nothing* only her emotion-people do. (The film's conception of how emotions work is *really* hard to work out the details.)
Second, Joy and the other emotion-people are basically stuck in whatever emotion they are or cause. I.e. Joy is joyful, Fear is fearful, etc. This ends up causing two problems: the characters can be annoying because conceptually they are stuck in a single mode. Joy-being the main character-suffers the most from this. She is too chirper and it is grating. People might differ on this and find say Sadness too morose. Second, the emotion-people should not be able to feel emotions besides they one they are. Joy is Joyful and she should be unable to feel anything else at all.
This brings me to the third conceptual problem. The film cheats on the last point and allows the emotion-people to have emotions besides the one they are. Joy for example *feels* sadness. This is because drama requires characters to change through time-this is why I think the concept is better suited to a short. However, this utterly undermines the explanation of where emotions come from that is the basis of the film. Either Joy herself has five emotions in *her* head to control *her* emotions or the emotion-people feel emotions as brute fact. In either case it does not work as an explanation; you either get an infinite regressions (it's emotions in heads all the down!) or there is no explanation for the emotion-people emotions beyond brute fact but in that case why no simply say humans feel as brute fact?
The last point might seem like I am taking the film too literally. Perhaps I am but even as metaphor I find the conceptual problems to much to stomach. I simply cannot suspend my disbelief and go with the film. It is more perplexing and ill-considered the more you look at it.
Reviewed by PipAndSqueak1 / 10
Misery on a stick
OK, playtime's over Pixar, now get over it. This film is so plainly a prequel – c.f. references to a 'puberty' button on the new 'emote' console in the character Rileys brain - you will fail to find anything of entertaining value for your 100 minute investment. You may harbour fond memories of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Ratatouille – all unique, funny, thrilling and entertaining. But, that is not what you will get with Inside Out. 'Joy', after all, is banished to long-term memory and can't get back in charge of the console. (Since when was a single emotion ever 'in charge' anyway?). Inside Out can be taken as a metaphor for the poor sops who work for the Disney Corporation. Yes, they started out with true optimism about the life journey they had chosen, (with Pixar). Then, all of a sudden they are 'taken over' by a less than friendly peer. To compound this, they are moved from their original 'playpen' to a new post industrial work lot. All is grim. Sadness takes hold and taints everything that is done. Even 'Joy' begins to sob with sadness and grief. Save us from this self-indulgent misery. Not only is it inappropriate as kiddie oriented movie fodder, those of us who are sentient, self-aware adults can do without this additional mock unhappiness. By the way, most human brains have a 'fat controller' who orchestrates proceedings keeping everything on an even keel – even if that is 'sadness' for a while. Riley's brain seems to be lobotomised – even before puberty has hit. Give this film a wide berth, in fact, it might be best if someone scuttles this ship before the pestilence it's carrying spreads.