Film: Inside Out (2015)

Disney-Pixar-Inside-Out-Movie-PosterOh, Inside Out (2015). Wow, I didn’t know what I was in for with this one. What a heartbreaking, beautiful movie.

Pixar’s latest opus is a clever, inventive literalized metaphor: inside the mind of a young girl named Riley (Kaitlin Dias), five entities serve as Riley’s emotional nerve center, helping her through her daily life. The dominant emotion is Joy (Amy Poehler), whose goal is make sure Riley is always happy—an objective often challenged by her coworkers Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). Still, the emotions have an effective working relationship, until Riley’s parents move the family from Minnesota to San Francisco. The move upsets everything, sending Riley into depression—and throwing the emotions’ lives into utter chaos.

Inside Out’s worldbuilding is wildly creative, a colorful and ever-surprising extended metaphor for the inner workings of a person’s mind. The script smartly enables its personified emotions to wander about in the various corners of Riley’s consciousness—long-term memory, abstract thought, imagination, the subconscious, etc.—and each new step comes with terrific eyeball kicks, sight gags, hilarious jokes, and heartfelt sentiment. It captures, in empathetic and insightful fashion, the way depression and stressful change can make our emotions go out of control. While the metaphors are blatant, they’re also smart and funny and touching. Anyone who’s ever had the blues will find something to relate to here.

This movie gets its hooks in early and works its magic throughout. A visually stunning, emotionally charged film that constantly had me on the edge of tears. Highly recommended!

Scroll to Top