Inside Out (2015)

‘Inside Out’ tackles a very interesting subject matter in a very complex way, and while it is very touching and filled with some great moments, overall this film lacks character depth, which unfortunately is the problem having most of the characters in the film be a single emotion personified so obviously Pixar limited themselves there.

I also feel that the scope of the film was too small, focusing on only one big event in Riley’s life and while I respect the moral of the story and I guarantee that this film will help a lot of children who are having problem processing their emotions, giving each emotion a person that they can visualise has to be doing many children very good, but unfortunately, I’m not here to judge the importance of this film, I am here to judge it on my enjoyment of the film.

Throughout the film, I just kept thinking, okay great, now let’s move on to puberty, love, loss, etc. The fact that they didn’t address any of these complex, fascinating feelings just overall leave me feeling let down by the film.

The film for what it is, is still very entertaining and does pull at your heartstrings occasionally it just feels that Pixar were thinking far too small or non-specific simply because of all the subject matter they had to pull from, they don’t focus on a huge moment in Riley’s life, but instead choose to focus on something that while important, isn’t especially compelling.

Let’s talk about the personification of the five emotions in Riley’s head – Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. When we are introduced to these five, firstly I thought that disgust was a strange addition, but they justified her inclusion constantly throughout the film. Also, I was expecting them to constantly introduce new emotions, the fact that they didn’t, again, let me down a little as there was so much potential there.

The voicework, as in every Pixar film, was perfect. At first I had trouble not hearing Amy Poehler but after a while, she just became Joy to me.

The animation is very good, I didn’t like the textures of the emotions but that is my biggest complaint and in the scheme of things, that is a very petty complaint to have. Not Pixar’s prettiest film, but far better animated than any other studio is putting out.

I suppose the fact that I was so disappointed in this film could have been avoided if I had seen a trailer which could have lessened my expectations, but I suppose that is the gambit you run if you choose to avoid all potential spoilers, even trailers.

I genuinely found it hard to write about this film and I am not quite sure why, maybe it is because that I feel that this film can genuinely help children deal with their feelings better that I just can’t find much fault with the actual film. From my enjoyment perspective, this is one of Pixar’s weaker films in the grand scheme of things, but Pixar hasn’t made a film yet that I haven’t had a great time with. Nevertheless, because I am finding it so hard to write about, I realise that this review is very poor with no structure and comes across as the ramblings of a madman.

I understand that I am in the minority and that most people adore this film so you should absolutely watch this film and hopefully you enjoy it more than I did. Also, if you have a child, please watch this with them, you won’t regret it and you could truly help their emotional growth.


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