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Inside Out - DVD Review

Inside Out

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

Having been resting on their creative laurels for a little courtesy of films like Cars 2 and Monsters University, Pixar return to stunning, genre pushing form with Inside Out.

Taking its cues from the likes of Wall-E and Up for the way in which it combines big ideas with effortless entertainment, Inside Out takes you on an emotional roller coaster through the mind of an 11-year-old girl, using her various emotions as the central characters.

The film that results is as subversive as it sounds, but delightfully so. It’s also buckets of fun and remarkably poignant to boot.

The girl in question is Riley, whose life is turned upside down when her parents decide to move from rural Minnesota to San Francisco for her father’s new job. Guided – as we all are – by her emotions, the move tests the character of Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler), who has made it her life’s work to keep her happy. But it also places a bigger emphasis on the roles of Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Anger (Lewis Black) and especially Sadness (Phyliss Smith).

When things go badly wrong in their control room, Riley’s future is left in the hands of Joy and Sadness to find a suitable way forward.

Directed by Pete Docter, Inside Out pulls off the remarkable accomplishment of being both emotionally complex, in the way that it tackles the psychological complexity of growing up, with the crowd-pleasing elements of the best family films.

Hence, while younger viewers will revel in the colourful design, the larger than life characters and the buoyant sense of humour (some of which veers into slapstick), older viewers will also engage with the film on a knowingly appreciative psychological level.

And this is where Inside Out really comes into its own. The level of intelligence here is breathtaking, with the complex made to look easy. Everyone can relate to the confusion of growing up but seldom has the fine line between joy and sorrow been so eloquently expressed.

Inside Out makes you think as much as it makes you laugh. It may even prompt a few tears. And then there’s those piercingly insightful observations on both childhood and parenthood, which may even leave both parties squirming in their seats.

Inside Out is therefore another Pixar tour-de-force; a movie about emotions that will fill you with joy… and the odd bit of sadness. It is, without doubt, one of the films of the year.

Certificate: U
Running time: 91mins
UK Blu-Ray & DVD Release: November 23, 2015