It’s the rare film that actually teaches you something, but Inside Out has a pretty profound message – one that we could all benefit from.
Pixar’s newest cinematic jewel is set inside the mind of a young girl as we witness her five personified emotions (Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear) navigate her emotional complexities. It’s definitely not kid’s stuff, and it’s the kind of film that adults will most certainly appreciate more. The film’s script is peppered with hilarious touches and witty nuances at every corner. It’s actually impossible to catch them all on first viewing, as this is a film that’s begging to be rewatched multiple times. Visually, Inside Out is a real treat – it’s gorgeously animated, bursting with color and imagination (no pun intended, there’s a place called “Imagination Land” in the film). There’s just so much to savour and absorb in every single frame.
The film’s voice work is stellar across the board. Amy Poehler (Joy) has her grating moments, but trying to add some complexity to Joy isn’t exactly the easiest job. The highlight is definitely Phyllis Smith who injects a heartbreaking and lovable dimension to Sadness, the film’s standout character. I was also delightfully amused to discover that the character of Disgust was voiced by none other than Mindy Kaling. If only she had a bigger role in the proceedings as Kaling is capable of greatness (see The Mindy Project, one of television’s finest comedies).
The above-mentioned message that spoke so deeply to me is this: sadness is a fundamental emotion that we simply can not push aside. So often in life, we try to avoid it in our relentless pursuit of happiness. After experiencing Inside Out, I’ve become more aware of how just vital sadness is. And isn’t that a beautiful lesson to extract from what many might call just another animated children’s film?
Inside Out is a vibrant and thought-provoking adventure with a powerful message. Say hello to Pixar’s newest masterpiece.