First Hit: The film was conceptually brilliant, for the most part very well executed, and very intelligent.
There probably isn’t a human being on this planet who hasn’t experienced one or all of the following; fear, anger, sadness, disgust, and joy.
Given this, Pixar did what no other filmmaker has ever done well, create an interpretation of the inner workings of the mind and made them the film’s main characters. Riley (Voice by Kaitlyn Dias) and her family moved from Minnesota to San Francisco where she feels lost, without her friends, familiar surroundings, furniture, and her dad is stressing about a company he’s creating. The comfort of what once was is now gone and changing.
This change allows other feelings, besides joy, to have a larger voice in her head. What results is what happened in this 12 year old’s mind. This film is brilliant in the sharing how the other emotions of fear, anger, joy, disgust and most importantly sadness can creep into a young person’s life. The lesson of not covering up, but embracing them and working through them is well done and on point.
The only downside of the film for me is that joy spends too much time wandering around the inner recesses of the brain. This film could have cut out 10 minutes and been more effective. Lastly, because the film is only 94 minutes, Disney/Pixar felt compelled to run a short called Lava prior to this film. Lava was an extremely poor setup to Inside Out. Lava, as a lead-in was way too schmaltzy and sappy and hurt watching the beginning of Inside Out.
Amy Poehler as Joy was perfectly upbeat and single-minded. Phyllis Smith as Sadness was dead on perfect. Her ability to apologize and yet continue to create more sadness was amazing. Bill Hader as Fear was funny, his expressions we’re well thought through. Mindy Kaling as Disgust was good in this more minor role. Lewis Black as Anger was the funniest. The way he would be immediately triggered because of an event was perfect. Dias as Riley was very good, especially when she was introducing herself to her new classmates. Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen both wrote and directed this excellent animated film. The only downside was the amount of time spent wandering around long term memory.
Overall: This was an excellent film and provided a way to know how the brain could work.