Disney is back! Yes ladies and gentlemen, it’s better this time. No Tommorowland, no fairy tale rehashes, no Planes (oh my god remember Planes), Inside Out is real original writing. Pete Doctor and Ronaldo Del Carmen can pat themselves on their respective backs as this story appeals to all ages in the same manner as the original Toy Story and Monsters Inc.
This latest motion picture takes us quite literally into the mind of eleven year old Riley, introducing us to Disgust, Anger, Sadness, Joy and Fear. Through this medium the movie explains, in an engaging, abstract way, the reasoning behind the decisions of childhood and adolescence. In doing so everyday phrases are given charming metaphorical life, such as Riley’s train of thought being represented as an actual train, or her idea’s as physical light bulbs.
Whilst all actors entertain in personifying her emotions, Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) and Lewis Black exceed in their roles as Joy and Anger. Both come across as relatable, watchable and charming. This being said, it is Richard Kind as Riley’s imaginary friend Bing Bong that evokes the same I-swear-I’m-not-crying-at-a-cartoon emotions that Disney has been missing since UP in 2009. Similarly the colorful, imaginative and original scenery matches that of UP to make this film well worth the entry price.
One criticism is that Sadness, voiced by Phyllis Smith, is initially incredibly annoying. It’s like Tom Cruise and Kanye had a love child with a dog whistle. Emotional, self obsessed, and ear-piercingly whiny. However it must be said that this serves an important purpose in the moral of the story.
Another criticism is that whilst we become attached to Riley’s emotions as individual characters, we fail to empathize fully with Riley herself. She becomes a vehicle for the development of her emotions rather that vice versa. Yet as other critics have pointed out, this bares not issue because, well, we don’t need to. The separation of Riley’s self into several characters provides far more empathy than a single character ever could. It is this which is testament to the originality of the story line and script and it is this that deserves a solid four out of five.