There are no bears in San Francisco
Hoyts Melbourne Central - Sunday 21 June 2015, 6:20pm
Running time: 102m
Country: United States
Classification: PG (Mild themes)
Release date: 18/06/15
Cost: $10 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 6/10 (ME 3/5, DP 3/5)
Inside Out is the latest animated offering from the Pixar studio, telling the story of 11 year old Riley Anderson (Kaitlyn Dias) and if you find the story familiar, think back to the 90s sitcom Herman's Head which presents the idea of your brain being like a control room and your emotions (or other little people) influencing everything you do. The 'little people' in Inside Out are Riley's emotions Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling); the perfect combination to capture the essence of pre-teen, middle class angst. Riley is a young girl with an idyllic life in Minnesota, who has her world turned on its head when her father takes a job in San Francisco. This all coincides with a malfunction at Emotion Headquarters (in Riley's head, where most of the film takes place) with Joy and Sadness being sucked out and deposited in the maze of Riley's Long Term Memory, spending the rest of the movie trying to find their way back to HQ and meeting Riley's almost forgotten imaginary pink elephant-like friend Bing Bong (Richard Kind) along the way. With Fear, Disgust and Anger left in charge, poor Riley ends up getting worked up into an explosive ball of negativity.
If all of this sounds a little confusing, that is because it is. The Pixar team once again deliver visuals that are crisp, clean and visually splendid and the characters delivered brilliantly. Amy Poehler is great as the bubbly Joy and Phyllis Smith as Sadness quietly becomes the heart of the story. Even Disgust is made weirdly charming,in an all-out diva way, by Mindy Kaling. Despite the colourful, detailed and stylised animation and these great performances, many of the concepts and plot twists are unnecessarily complex and will result in the interest of many of the youngest children (to whom this film may initially seem appealing) not being held. Slightly older children and pre-teens may relate to some of Riley's feelings and experiences, but it is the adults who are likely to take the most from this film.
Inside Out will be a very likely contender for Best Animated Feature Film at next year's Academy Awards, looking great and delivering humour for children and adults at different levels no hitting an emotional cord for people of all ages. This may not be the best Pixar film to date, but it is certainly an enjoyable viewing experience. (DP)
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