‘Inside Out:’ A Palette of Animated Emotions

By Adriana Sepúlveda

PG  |  94 min  | Animation, Adventure, Comedy |

But a ticket and grab your popcorn, because “Inside Out,” Pixar’s latest. is not just for kids. It is a must see.

Do you ever look at someone and wonder, what is going on inside their head? Well wonder no more. Pixar directors Pete Docter of Up, Monters, Inc. and WALL-E and Ronnie Del Carmen of Finding Nemo, Brave and Ratatouille do not disappoint with this new animated film. “Inside Out” takes place inside 11-year-old Riley’s head, to show what she is thinking at every moment of the day.

“Inside Out” is beautiful and complex, as Pixar films tend to be. It is a packed-full emotional rollercoaster that will make you laugh, choke up and smile — and it might possibly break your heart. Using beautiful animation, the directors take you through the flamboyant commotions and vivid emotions that swirl around in our heads. The film is so colorful you will not want to take your eyes off of the screen.

The majority of the film, as it takes place inside the head of Riley, helps you follow her story as she grows up and starts to flourish in the world. Distinct emotion-characters help bring it all to life:

inside_out_-_emotion_poster_collaborationIn her head you will find:

  • Joy, played by Amy Poehler, who is perfectly cast. Bringing joy and happiness to Riley’s life, she narrates the story and acts as a tour guide.
  • Sadness, (played by Phyllis Smith from “The Office”) doesn’t really know where she belongs throughout the film. She finds her way and discovers the importance that sadness brings. Everyone needs a little sadness, and of course gets it.
  • Anger, (played by Lewis Black, a comedian whose forte is anger) cares very deeply fairness, and is not afraid of showing what he is made of.
  • Fear, (played by Bill Hader) is really good at keeping Riley safe. He views every experience as possibly catastrophic, or at least dangerous, and is a valued asset in any emotional palette.
  • Disgust, (played by Mindy Kaling) helps keep Riley away from poisonous substances or unrecognizable food that she may put in her mouth. She helps with the feelings of disapproval and revulsion — in Riley’s case, broccoli is an example.

Throughout the film you see how complicated Riley’s life becomes.  She seems to have a perfect life, but that is only as a child. You experience the beautiful relationship she has with her parents, but then everything changes when they move to San Francisco.

After that things get really complicated in her life and in her head. Riley’s emotions start to spiral out of control, which starts to cause a lot of problems. Joy, who is sort of like the captain, must go figure out how to fix things. When Joy departs from front-and-center in Riley’s head, Riley becomes very sad and resentful. But has gone on her desperate mission to bring the old Riley back.

There is no doubt that everyone might find a relatable event in Riley’s life, including when you see how her relationship with her parents changes, or how hope seem to disappear. You’ll also get a chuckle or two when you get a brief look into the minds of Riley’s parents.

The Pixar animation team conjures up in black and white and in color the memories we all share: What it’s like to dream, to have an imaginary friend, to long for past friendships. And it will especially remind you to smile through life.


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