Review of Inside Out
Pixar‘s latest movie Inside Out has been getting some amazing reviews with review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes giving the film a rating of 98%, based on 248 reviews. They describe the films as
Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving,Rotten Tomatoes
Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.”
Sadly I don’t agree. While the film is enjoy, fun and emotional, it also suffers from cliché and feels like a big missed opportunity.
Warning spoilers for Inside Out will appear after the break
The concept of Inside Out is quite unique – well apart from The Numskulls comic strip in The Beano – with the idea that humans are giant machines control by five key emotions, Joy, Sadness, Angry, Fear and Disgust. The film then uses this set up to explore the experiences of a young girl, Riley, dealing with a house move from Minnesota to San Francisco. This scenario allows the makers to tell a collection of great set pieces throughout. One of the best examples is the scene they used for the first teaser trailer which can be seen below.
Sadly, for me, the directors take two decisions that result in this film becoming a missed opportunity. The first is for the film to take place almost entirely in Riley’s head so reducing down the opportunity for more situations like the one above. The other issue was the main character Joy, played by Amy Poehler, who I found to be a bully. While I think she was meant to have a similar arc to Woody in the original Toy Story, she lacks none of his warmth. In fact in opening seconds of the film she is shown bullying Sadness (Phylis Smith) and keeps going from there. The whole plot of Inside Out is a result of Joy’s control freak nature and while trying to fix the problem is responsible for the death of Riley’s Imaginary Friend. This wouldn’t have been such a problem if the film had been funnier or more engaging but I felt like I was watching an animated version of Inception but with less interesting, more annoying characters. For me Inside Out will go down as a missed opportunity.