Inside Out – Does the genius of Pixar know no bounds?

Now anyone who knows me will tell you how much I love Disney films, and Pixar films are most definitely a part of that package. I admire the studio’s courage for moving to solely computer animation, but Pixar films have always been a big part of my life since I never knew a time without them. I actually love Pixar films for their genius: bringing toys to life; exploring the monsters in the wardrobe; venturing both forward and back in time; and now bringing our emotions to life. It never fails to surprise me how original their films are, and likewise, they never fail to impress me. Their latest production Inside Out was no exception.

For anyone who has missed out on the trailers for Inside Out, it’s about 11 year old Riley, who is undergoing some changes in her life, and told from the perspective of the leading emotions in her head: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust.


To the reviewer from the newspaper last week – I won’t name and shame, because this is the Internet and who knows what that might get me into – kindly take your head out of your ass; it’s not a hat. (Courtesy of Pitch Perfect, I take no credit). They seemed to be under the impression Inside Out was not deep and meaningful enough to earn critics’ respect, as it had no buried messages to be decoded and was not technically spectacular in a ‘filmy’ kind of way. Newsflash: Inside Out is not a ‘filmy’ film, it’s primary audience is kids and then their parents. It’s not trying to be ‘filmy’ (thank goodness!) and it’s doing a perfectly stellar job just the way it is.

Kids will get no end of enjoyment from this Inside Out, as with pretty much every other Pixar film ever, but the same is true for the adults … and those who are neither kid nor adult just yet, you know who you are. There are so many clever links to phrases we use and such: the area of abstract thought where the emotions begin to change in appearance; the train of thought; the idea of the mind workers repeating the advert jingle at random. Some of these intelligent inputs were really quite accurate representations of how our minds work sometimes, take the boy on the hockey team for example – we’ve all been there – and that’s what makes this film another genius Pixar creation. It’s clever, it’s touching, it’s relatable, it’s very funny, and it really tugs on the ol’ heartstrings. But then, it’s a film about emotions, and when we think about the likes of Toy Story 3 and THAT opening sequence in Up, are we really all that surprised that a few tears were shed?

I won’t give anything away here, because I want you to go and see this film. Even if you’re not the type to go and see a Disney film in the cinema, you won’t regret it. Don’t worry there are no all-singing, all-dancing princesses or anything in this one to scare you away. Go and appreciate how intelligent and inspired it is. Let yourself be drawn into Riley’s head and ride the emotional roller coaster with her. Go with the knowledge that this film is accessible to anyone, because somewhere in your life you’ll have experienced something similar to Riley, and you’ll be able to relate to her emotions. I’m telling you, this film is beautiful.

And of course, there was a little Pixar magic thrown in there too. Did anyone notice how familiar that dead mouse looked? And that mind worker towards the end … he had a pretty distinctive voice, I’m sure I’ve heard him somewhere before. Maybe it was just me, but I felt like there were moments of young Riley that were little nods to our favourite little Pixar girl Boo: when she was colouring, and I could swear they wear the same bobbles (that’s hair bands to the Americans out there) in their pigtails. Anyone else think that? Please let me know if there’s anything I didn’t pick up on in the film … apart from A113; I’d like to find that one myself.


Author: camillehatcher

Bookworm, film fanatic, quote master, and apprentice wordsmith.

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