Welcome back to Pixar Countdown Reviews, which we take a look at and review all seventeen theatrical Pixar films every Friday leading up to the release of Pixar’s Cars 3 this summer. Take a look back at some of our previous entries and stay tuned every Friday as we cover all of Pixar’s incredible films.
Inside Out is one of the Pixar films that have received universal acclaim by audiences and critics. After a few Pixar films that were, for some strange reason, not as acclaimed, it was great to see this movie gain so much attention. It is very easy to see why its so acclaimed, because Inside Out is an inventive, heartfelt film with fantastic world building and characters.
The story is told with a level of sophistication that only Pixar can achieve. The world inside the mind serves as a metaphor for growing up, which is something anyone can relate to. Everyone has been through the changes our every-girl Riley has been through. The idea of growing up is a scary one and it’s something we have all been through! That’s what makes it such a meaningful and powerful film.
Inside Out has some truly meaningful themes that really make you look at things in a different light. The film is pretty much one big metaphor to explain how you feel and why you feel the way you do. That is definitely how you should look at this film while watching it. The biggest theme in the film is how you need sadness in your life. You can’t always feel joy, and sadness is an emotion that is just as necessary. That is one of the most beautiful themes I’ve ever seen put on film, and it is told perfectly for anyone of any age to understand.
The film has a great cast of likable and relatable characters. Riley, who is both our setting and main character, as I mentioned before, is someone we can all relate to. Our other main characters, Riley’s emotions, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust work very well off of each other and have a great amount of development, especially Joy and Sadness who we follow throughout the film. Then there’s Bing Bong, Riley’s imaginary friend who bravely helps Joy and Sadness on their adventure to go back to headquarters. He’s extremely lovable and hilarious. The film has a bunch of great characters that I consider some of my favorites.
The animation in this film is breathtaking. This is a very special case because it has two different settings, San Francisco and the world inside Riley’s mind. Both of them are beautifully rendered, but look so drastically different. The world inside the mind is extremely colorful and very surreal with fantastic art direction, while San Francisco looks depressing by comparison, which is definitely what they were going for. The character designs are fantastic as well, with the film raising the bar in animation technology by having characters like the emotions that are made entirely out of particles. Joy even has her own light source which she emits! The result is a visually stunning, mesmerizing filmgoing experience.
The directing, unsurprisingly, is fantastic. Pete Docter knocks it out of the park with this film, with each shot feeling so impeccably crafted that I was in awe throughout the entire film. There are many shots that are absolutely jaw-dropping and gorgeous to look at, with impeccable cinematography. He does a great job captivating the audience and making this world seem believable.
The score is also phenomenal. It is composed by Michael Giacchino, who also composed the score for Up, Ratatouille and The Incredibles. After listening to the score for Inside Out, it becomes obvious as to why Pixar likes to always bring back Michael Giacchino to compose the score for their films. His music has such a sense of feeling and heart to it and it perfectly matches what goes on in the film and adds to the emotional and exciting moments. The film also perfectly captures the atmosphere of the film. With it taking place inside the mind, the score gives off a really surreal and atmospheric feel to it. This is definitely one of my favorite Pixar scores.
Inside Out is a masterpiece. It completely changes the way we look at animation as an art form and cinema as a whole. This film is life-changing and thought-provoking, making you think of what goes on inside your head in a completely different light. You might even know yourself better after watching this film. It’s unlike anything I have ever seen before and is yet another welcome addition to Pixar’s growing library of amazing films.
Film Grade: A+