Discounting the lacklustre 'Brave', it has been six years since Pixar's last original film, 'Up'. The long wait has been worthwhile because 'Inside Out' is a true revival of Pixar's original movies.
Looking inside the head of Riley, an eleven year old girl, who has just moved from Minnesota to San Francisco, reveals the emotions that control her character and personality: Joy, Anger, Disgust, Sadness and Fear.
Whilst Joy has dominated her childhood- learning to skate with her parents, being goofy and having a blast with her best friend... being eleven is a whole different playing field and sees Joy struggle to keep all her memories being happy. Desperate to give Riley a joyful day, a joyful month, a joyful year and thus a joyful life, Joy isolates Sadness, and a dispute leads the pair lost inside the depths of Riley's mind.
With Anger, Disgust and Fear left to control Riley's emotions, Riley is at risk of losing all of her personality. Will Joy be able to make it back in time?
Graphically, Pixar lives up to its expectations in delivering a diverse world of colour and at times of darkness. The opening scene with Riley as a baby was almost photo realistic.
Much like Toy Story, 'Inside Out' success is in its exploration of an alternate reality, but here, it is very much rooted in the real world. By personifying emotions, the studio has created a set of distinct and unique characters, and a roller coaster of emotional scenarios.
I was particularly impressed by the risk Pixar took in going to a very deep and dark place towards the end of the film, perhaps the studio's most shockingly serious yet emotional plot line. Whilst this may not resonate with young children or children at all, it was a bold move and I give it props.
Despite the original concept, I felt the plot progression was somewhat linear and predictable. The obstacle-after obstacle coming against Joy's return was formulaic, but did allow opportunity to explore other psychological themes such as dream states, consciousness and imagination.
I would have also liked to have seen more interaction between different characters' psyches. As seen in the dining scene, featured in the trailer, this is one of the highlights and iconic moments in 'Inside Out'.
Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling and Phyllis Smith.
'Inside Out' was an absolute delight to watch and the high score can go to the original concept alone. I loved that it went to dark and sad places and isn't shy of dealing of serious emotional and psychological issues.
Despite a few nit-pickings of critique, it is almost flawless and will for sure win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature come 2016, and has many great opportunities for sequels. Let's hope 'The Good Dinosaur' will also continue to raise standards for Pixar's original films, coming out this November.