Film Review: Disney Pixar’s Inside Out

It’s not many animations that are shown at the Cannes Film Festival, and even fewer that receive a ten minute standing ovation. But this week’s big new release, Disney Pixar’s Inside Out, ticks both boxes and has been a box office hit in the States. So will it wow us Brits as well when it opens this Friday, certificate U? London Mums’ film critic, Freda Cooper, gets to know Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust.

 

Disney Inside Out 2

The story

If you’ve ever wondered what’s going on inside somebody else’s head, then here’s your chance. Eleven year old Riley has spent an idyllic childhood in Minnesota and now she and her parents have moved to San Francisco. And, as this major change takes place, we see inside her mind, where five Emotions run her life: Sadness, Anger, Fear, Disgust and their leader Joy (the voice of Amy Poehler), who is the ultimate positive thinker. They all have the same aim – giving Riley the happiest life possible. But, to make it happen, Joy has to travel outside the confines of what they call Head Quarters to make sure that the girl’s happy memories are safe.

 

 

The trailer

 

The verdict

Inside Out has amassed a huge reputation. Not just with its reception at Cannes, but its director and writer Pete Docter was also the man behind Up and directed Monsters Inc. So it’s a relief – and an even bigger pleasure – to say that the film lives up to all that – and more.

The imagination and sheer creativity that’s gone into it is truly exceptional. The characters, especially the five Emotions, are actually the easy bit. We’ve all known somebody like Sadness, after all – somebody whose glass is always at the very least half empty. And Anger’s ability to go off at the deep end, complete with fire coming out of his head, gets some of the best laughs in the film – especially the one about broccoli pizza. Joy, on the other hand, is so relentlessly positive that she comes close to being irritating. But that, of course, is one of the life lessons of the film. You can’t be happy all the time: sadness is just as important a part of life as happiness. It’s something that The Princess Kaguya learnt earlier in the week.

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It’s the complexity of all the places inside Riley’s head and how she keeps her memories that really sparkles. Without giving too much away, there’s the “islands” that make up her character, the appropriately named Train Of Thought and the mind workers who run her long term memory like a library – and, when a memory is requested by Head Quarters, occasionally slip in a deliberate mistake. The list is endless. There’s no end to the invention that’s gone into the film, it never flags and it’s never short of anything but brilliant.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your childhood was like, anybody who watches this film will find something that strikes a familiar chord. Children will love its colour, action and adventure – it’s a certificate U, after all – while grown-ups will be reminded of something from their younger years. And anybody who’s in – or has been in – a long term relationship will recognise what’s going on inside Mum and Dad’s head. Because they have their very own Emotions as well. Just check out the trailer.

Disney Inside Out poster

London Mums’ rating: 9/10

There aren’t many films that have a truly universal appeal, but Inside Out is one of those rarities. It’s thoughtful, funny, imaginative and appeals to every single person in the audience: they’ll all recognise and connect with different moments. Disney Pixar have pulled off something special – and quite possibly unique.

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About Freda Cooper

Film critic and radio presenter Freda Cooper has been a movie fan all her life - the best qualification for the job! A contributor to a number of film websites, she also presents her weekly podcast, Talking Pictures, a finalist in the UK Podcasters Awards. Her movie blog, formerly The Coops Review, is now also called Talking Pictures, and was shortlisted at this year's UK Blog Awards. And you can hear her film reviews every Friday morning on BBC Surrey and BBC Sussex!

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