Pixar is still the powerhouse of 3D animation, even if they’ve fallen short in one or two of their efforts. On the one hand you have the mega-hits Toy Story, Up, Monster’s Inc. and the Incredibles, on the other you have Cars, Brave and Raatouille. Blockbuster or just “made its money back” hit it’s without question the Pixar is the major player when it comes to animation these days as they have more than sequels of the same green ogre or transferring cartoons live action movies to fall back on. Their latest outing is the critically acclaimed Inside Out, the updated animation version of a canceled FOX TV from the 1990s shows which asks the burning question, “What if our emotions were just little people in our heads driving our day to day actions?” It came out on my birthday so I had to give it some kind of review.
My cousin had this condition and they say he’ll be out in 25 years on good behavior.
Riley is the main character of the story. She an 11-year-old who is forced to move to San Francisco when her father gets a new job and the story centers on the five emotions in her head who guide her reactions. There’s Joy, play by Amy Poehler, Sadness played by Phyllis Smith, Disgust played by Mindy Kaling, fear played by Bill Hader and anger played by Lewis Black.) The trouble starts when two of the emotions, Joy and Sadness, get lost in the middle of Riley’s mind leaving only Anger, Disgust and Fear to guide her. This leads to a lot of bad moods, trouble in school and running away. The rest of the movie centers on Joy and Sadness trying to get back to the main brain control room and the rest the emotions doing their best without them.
This wasn’t a bad movie. I don’t know if it was the “instant classic” many reviewers said it was. To be honest many of those reviews seemed to come with a misplace nostalgia for Pixar the way “it used to be?” (Seriously people, Monster University were only 2 years ago and Brave only three. Get a grip already. At a running time of 90 minutes the movie was an easy watch, the voice actors were a lot of fun and they got their point across without beating over the head with it. Well, not too much, I mean.
The stand-out performance was Lewis Black as anger. His lines were the ones most kids remember and he was perfectly typecast as Anger, especially since that’s his routine. Inside out is not going to be the movie whose characters you’ll remember like UP, Wall-E or Toy Story, but it’s at least a movie you can sit the kids in front of an not worry that it will scar them for life or anything. (That’s Michael Bay’s job.) And since it made over 850 million dollars world world-wide audiences obviously responded to it.
Over all, the film had the usually excellent Pixar touch of excellent animation, a lot of those heartwarming parts to the story you expect from them and some touching moments. Pixar is masters at plucking the heart-strings and this is not different. I don’t think Inside Out was the next Toy Story, but it is a nice example of why Pixar is the best at what they do and that’s not bad. The kids I took liked it, and I thought it was okay. If they do a sequel let’s hope they add more emotions like empathy, excitement and indifference, just to add more comedians into things. But if they don’t bring back anger I and Pixar will have words.