Inside Out Screen 20 articles

Inside Out

2015

Inside Out Poster
  • For all the cleverness of "Inside Out," I was jolted from the start by its deformation of children and of mental life. I saw a feature-length sales pitch... to mold kids into beings as artificial and uniform as those created, by computer graphics, in the movie. The film is on the wrong track from the beginning, when the first view of the world, through the eyes of the infant Riley, is taken by Joy, and Joy becomes, from that point on, the default leader, Riley's emotional captain.

  • Inside Out is especially poignant in its handling of Sadness, characterized as a ne'er-do-well who wants to be part of the emotional team but keeps making mistakes... Unfortunately the climax is so loud and busy, like that of any recent superhero movie, that it's off-putting; once again the Pixar team are too distracted by their gadgets to think about people.

  • Can we talk for a minute about INSIDE OUT's less-than-cutting-edge gender politics? ...We find a mother whose emotions are uniformly weepy and feminized, while the father's brain operates like a short-fused, potato chip-scented edition of Sports Center. That Riley's internal dialogue is allowed the heterogeneity of Amy Poehler and Lewis Black is curious, but only just--INSIDE OUT teases a notion of gender fluidity that it's not equipped to address. Wake me for the Pixar movie that does.

  • In a way, it’s Up in reverse. The earlier film, also directed by Pete Docter, never managed to re-capture the pathos and wonder of its opening stretch, whereas this one grows more poignant as it gets further into Pepperland psychedelia... Despite a handful of aesthetic breaks—faux-handheld shot, a brief 2-D animated sequence—this stays well within the bounds of Pixar’s established house style; I can’t help but wish that something this conceptually out there were more visually adventurous.

  • Inside Out's plot is little more than an excuse to tour this massive expanse of what turns out to be rigorously demarcated emotional terrain; as such, Docter's film often feels both wonderfully complex and weirdly reductive at the same time. That formula, though, seems as sound an embodiment of the human brain as any other.

  • No parent of a child 13 or under should dream of seeing Inside Out without plenty of [tissues]. Small children will be totally fine—they’ll see a fun, colorful movie chock-full of wacky characters and zany antics. The adults who accompany them, however, will soon realize that they’re watching something not unlike The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, except with adolescence itself standing in for good ol’ Leatherface.

  • Halfway through, I started experiencing Inception-levels of exposition overdose. Then I realized there were more similarities between Docter's film and Nolan's film than just a compulsion to over-explain everything. But I'll end on a good note: the basic breakdown of how emotions can affect behavior that Inside Out provides strikes me as a helpful tool for kids to use when unspooling their own reactions to life experiences. That's a pretty big compliment, especially coming from Pixar-averse me.

  • The film is ingenious, Pixar’s most satisfying since Up six years ago (reviews have been rhapsodic, naming it among the best of the year) – but it also shares a lot of DNA with Toy Story 3, another film that dwelled on the sad obsolescence of childhood things and played better for older kids. Ultimately, Inside Out’s flaws aren’t the fault of the filmmakers so much as Western culture – an infantilised culture that idealises childhood and wallows in arrested adolescence.

  • Inside Out’s central concept is an inspired one, and the division of labour by emotion rather than, say, by sense, as in the conceptually similar classic Beano comic strip The Numbskulls, allows the film to explore Riley’s increasingly troubled inner life with a profound and galvanising lucidity... This is a humane and heart-wrenchingly beautiful film from Docter; even measured alongside Pixar’s numerous great pictures, it stands out as one of the studio’s very best.

  • The sharp wit of the writing and detailed imagery of the world-building combine in a way that provides endless surface delights and chuckles. Yet Pete Docter and Ronaldo del Carmen's film goes deeper and further, travelling in a focused arc from the brain's pleasure centres to its darkest reaches.

  • What this film does is quite unique: here’s a mainstream animation adventure that acknowledges, instead of denying, the complexity of human motivations, decisions and actions. As a result, the level of psychological subtlety achieved in “Inside Out” truly raises the bar for contemporary children’s animation.

  • It is, I’d say, Pixar’s best since WALL•E, and one of the studio’s most interesting experiments both in terms of form and in terms of how to make animations that appeal to adults as well to children of various ages. The answer is a witty, riotously hued film that takes childhood as its subject (just as Monsters, Inc. and the Toy Story films did, indirectly) and builds the child’s imagination itself into its narrative and its execution.

  • The power of Inside Out comes not from the derring-do of its setpieces or the sharpness of its wit — unlike, say, Finding Nemo, it's not particularly funny. Rather, it comes from its ability to take processes and human passages we're all intimately familiar with and turn them into the stuff of drama. That the drama comes via little imaginary animated creatures somehow adds to the pathos. Let Inside Out in, and it will wipe the floor with you.

  • If it's as successful as I suspect it will be, it could shake American studio animation out of the doldrums it's been mired in for years. It avoids a lot of the cliched visuals and storytelling beats that make even the best Pixar movies, and a lot of movies by Pixar's competitors, feel too familiar. The best parts feel truly new, even as they channel previous animated classics (including the works of Miyazaki) and explore situations and feelings that everyone has experienced to some degree.

  • If Bird is the member of the gang most likely to underline his action with he-man Ayn Randisms, Stanton the most skillful visual stylist, and Lasseter something like the animated world’s John Landis, the images that Docter conjures, especially in Up and now Inside Out, recall the elemental humanistic pull of Ozu or De Sica, perhaps because he’s more regularly populated his films with human characters.

  • Inside Out might be the most improbable of all of Pixar’s films, since it’s the least external and least explicable. But its unquenchable curiosity also puts it among the most wondrous of its ilk or any American film. This is a studio that has always cherished moods — presented them in phases, not as swings. More than once, I wondered where Inside Out would go. Given the surplus of color and the honest range of feeling, the answer is as much under the rainbow as over it.

  • Docter himself resists abstraction: he makes Riley’s inner space equally literal and metaphorical—true to her specific personality. Riley’s fuzzy imaginary friend, Bing Bong (Richard Kind), could have been as annoying as Jar Jar Binks, but instead he becomes the poignant embodiment of a tween girl’s need to give up childish things and embrace Sadness as well as Joy. As an antidote to infantilized mass culture, Inside Out is just what the Docter ordered.

  • Childhood’s end has long been one of Pixar’s grand recurring themes, and it could scarcely have found a more poignant or ingenious expression than in the studio’s long-overdue return to form.

  • I don't mean to weigh down Inside Out with hefty precedents, from which it is removed by the distance of decades and its state-of-the-art technological toolkit, only to say that it shows the same respect for the feelings of children, tempered with the wistful knowledge of adulthood, that they do. Docter's film doesn't have a single moment of wrenching climax on the level of 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' [from Meet Me in St. Louis], but it is marked throughout by merry invention.

  • Along with Up and Monsters, Inc., pete Docter has directed some of Pixar’s most emotionally sophisticated features... As is the case with the best from Pixar, Inside Out features state-of-the-art digital animation and a story that appeals to both children and adults.

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