REVIEW: INSIDE OUT

CAST (VOICES)

Amy Poehler (Mean Girls)
Phyllis Smith (Bad Teacher)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Lewis Black (Hannah and Her Sisters)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Mindy Kaling (OCean’s 8)
Kaitlyn Dias (The Shifting)
Diane Lane (Batman V Superman)
Kyle MacLachlan (Dune)
Paula Poundstone (Home Movies)
Bobby Moynihan (Grown Ups 2)
Dave Goelz (Fraggle Rock)
Frank Oz (Star Wars)
John Ratzenberger (Cheers)
Lori Alan (Family Guy)
Rashida Jones (Cop Out)
Carlos Alazraqui (Family Guy)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Dawnn Lewis (Futurama)

Amy Poehler and Phyllis Smith in Inside Out (2015)Riley Andersen is born in Minnesota and within her mind, five personifications of her basic emotions—Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger—gradually come to life and influence her actions via a console in her mind’s Headquarters. As she grows up, her experiences become memories, stored in colored orbs, with each color corresponding to an emotion, which are sent into long-term memory each night. Her five most important “core memories” (all of which are happy ones) are housed in a hub; each powers an aspect of her personality which takes the form of floating islands. In the Headquarters, Joy acts as a de facto leader to maintain Riley’s cheerful childhood, but since she and the other emotions do not understand Sadness’ purpose, she frequently tries to keep Sadness away from the console.Kaitlyn Dias in Inside Out (2015)At the age of 11, Riley and her parents move to San Francisco for her father’s new business. Riley has poor first experiences: the new house is cramped and old, the moving van with all their belongings is misdirected, her father is under stress from his business, and a poor encounter at a pizza restaurant leaves her disheartened. When Sadness begins touching Riley’s happy memories, turning them sad, Joy tries to guard them by isolating her. On Riley’s first day at her new school, Sadness accidentally causes Riley to cry in front of her class, creating a sad core memory. Joy, panicking, tries to dispose of it, but accidentally knocks the other core memories loose during a struggle with Sadness, deactivating the personality islands. Joy, Sadness, and the core memories are sucked out of Headquarters and taken to the maze-like storage area of long-term memory.Lewis Black, Bill Hader, and Mindy Kaling in Inside Out (2015)The other emotions, Anger, Fear, and Disgust try to maintain Riley’s happiness in Joy’s absence with disastrous results, distancing her from her parents (whom she fought over at dinner), friends, and hobbies (she stormed off during a hockey trial due to her subpar performance). As a result, her personality islands gradually crumble and fall, one by one, into the “Memory Dump”, an abyss where memories are forgotten. In desperation, Anger inserts an idea into the console, prompting Riley to run away, believing that her returning to Minnesota will enable her to make new happy core memories.Richard Kind, Amy Poehler, and Phyllis Smith in Inside Out (2015)While navigating through the long-term memory region, Joy and Sadness encounter Bing Bong, Riley’s long-forgotten childhood imaginary friend, who suggests riding the train of thought back to Headquarters. En route to the train station, Bing Bong tearfully watches his rainbow wagon rocket being thrown into the memory dump along with other childish artifacts which are out of use as Sadness consoles him and gets him up on his feet by sympathizing his loss, which astonishes Joy. The three eventually catch the train, but it is halted when Riley falls asleep. They succeed in manipulating Riley’s dreams to wake her and restart the train, but it is derailed when the “Honesty Island” collapses (when Riley steals her mother’s credit card and begins to run away). In desperation, Joy tries to ride a “recall tube” back to Headquarters, but abandons Sadness since close proximity to Sadness will cause the core memories to turn sad, which Joy believes will hurt Riley. But as she takes off, the ground below the tube collapses, breaking the tube and plunging Joy and Bing Bong into the Memory Dump. At the bottom of the abyss, Joy begins to lose hope and breaks into tears, but comes to a realization when she discovers a sad memory of an ice hockey game that turned happy when Riley’s parents and friends comforted her. Joy realizes that Sadness serves an important purpose: to induce empathy in others, prompting them to reach out to Riley when she is emotionally overwhelmed and needs help.Amy Poehler in Inside Out (2015)Joy and Bing Bong try to use Bing Bong’s old wagon rocket to escape the Memory Dump. After several tries, Bing Bong realizes their combined weight is too much and jumps out to allow Joy to escape; having sacrificed himself, Bing Bong fades away completely. In the meantime, Riley bought a one-way bus ticket to Minnesota while her parents grew increasingly worried over her disappearance. Joy reunites with a despondent Sadness and manages to get them to Headquarters, only to discover that Anger’s idea has disabled the console, rendering Riley apathetic. To the surprise of the others, Joy hands control of the console to Sadness, who is able to successfully extract the idea, reactivating the console and prompting Riley to alight from the bus and to return home.Amy Poehler in Inside Out (2015)As Sadness re-installs the core memories, turning them sad, Riley arrives home to her parents and tearfully confesses that she misses Minnesota and her old life. As her parents comfort her, they emotionally admit they, too, miss Minnesota as much as she does. Joy and Sadness work the console together, creating a new amalgamated bitter-sweet core memory in Riley’s Headquarters; a new island forms, representing Riley’s acceptance of her new life in San Francisco. A year later at the age of 12, Riley has adapted to her new home, made new friends, returned to her old hobbies while adopting a few new ones, fueled by new, more nuanced core memories from combinations of her emotions. Inside the Headquarters, her emotions all work together on a newly expanded console with room for them all, allowing Riley to lead a more emotionally complex life.Lewis Black, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, and Mindy Kaling in Inside Out (2015)The majority of the complaints I saw were that the film was ‘too depressing for a children’s film’, but whilst I see where they are coming from in some regards, every child who I have seen watch this film has absolutely loved it, and laughed out loud almost constantly. They are not old enough to realise the message the film is trying to convey: that life isn’t all about happiness. I applaud the attempt from Pixar to make a film that is not only hilarious in places, but is also a major comment on what life is like to be a younger teenager, transitioning through one of the most important moments of life.