Inside out is a delightful comedy that will bring out the kid in every adult. It is a tale about how human emotions, joy, sadness, disgust, anger and fear influence how reasonable humans act. The colour coded embodiment of these emotions and the voices that are lent to them are all so apt and heart-warming that we found ourselves giggling joyfully and headily throughout the movie. A simple story about a young girl Riley’s reaction to her move to San Francisco from Minnesota, it delves into the human condition in literal and profound ways. If you ever wondered what flight of imagination, train of thought, long term memory, forgotten memories and abstract thought look like, then you will be treated to some pretty spectacular representations of these.
Peter Docter, Pixar’s ultimate talent is said to have based the storyline on his own daughter and to have consulted extensively with psychologists during its creation. A Pixar veteran, Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear character is partly based on him and he has been nominated for several Oscars already. This latest creation, a sure bet at the Oscars for its depth, imagination and visual appeal, is said to have been inspired by Japanese Anime, the fore-runner in all animation today.
The voice talent makes the film! Amy Poehler is irrepressible as joy and Mindy Kaling brings attitude as disgust. However, my hands-down favourites were Lewis Black as anger, erupting at the most inopportune moments to make poor decisions, and Phyllis Smith as sadness, wise but dragging herself and everyone down with her infectious pessimism.
The plot thickens as joy and sadness leave Riley’s emotional console on an accidental adventure to have anger, fear and disgust kick into high gear and rule Riley’s life. As a result of this mishap, the former, in their bid to return, encounter long term memory and the minions that are destroying fading memories, take a near catastrophic walk on the memory tunnel, enter abstract thought, have an accident on the train of thought and finally end up in forgotten thoughts where with the help of Riley’s fantasy friend, joy takes a flight of imagination to join sadness who, floating on a cloud, returns them both to Riley’s emotional command centre, with a little help from anger and disgust. As this is happening in the background, Riley’s parallel actions have included quitting hockey and running away from home to return to Minnesota. However, when joy and sadness return to the command centre, Riley gets off the bus heading to Minnesota to return home to her parents, to give her life in San Fran another shot, to get on a new hockey team and to make new friends at school! Watch it and you will know what I mean!