Inside Out Review

For the last few decades Pixar Studios has been the number one name in animation. Although their recent recycled hits such as Cars 2 and Monster University weren’t acclaimed by the critics, Inside Out proves that the animation powerhouse is still on fire. The buzz surrounding the movie was huge since the Cannes screening, but the trailers had failed to get my hyped up to be honest. Fortunately the movie showed that all that buzz wasn’t for nothing.

Synopsis: Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Inside Out is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, so far. (It is actually tied with Mad Max: Fury Road for the first place.) It has a good script, funny enough to keep you cracking out with laughter for the whole duration which is a very rare quality in movies nowadays, visually mesmerizing and most importantly it is creative. After tons of sequels that come our way, watching an original story is a fresh breath. The film is a wonderful and imaginative take on adolescence, growing up and maturity with lots of fun moments.

My main concern with Inside Out was that it would be too childish based on the teasers and trailers. However director Pete Docter (Up, Monsters Inc.) successfully manages to create a fine balance between too childish and too serious. Even a topic like depression is delicately handled. I especially loved it that depression isn’t depicted as extreme sadness, but rather as lack of all emotions, joy and sadness alike. The only point that I might talk negatively is the last act. After a while the plot starts to seem like it makes use of the same formula over and over again, and it might feel repetitive. Yet, even at those times the movie never bores you, and this formulaic structure can be easily overlooked.

Since I’ve seen it dubbed in Turkish, but from the clips I’ve watched on Pixar’s YouTube channel, all of the voice actors seem very fitting. Especially in the reviews I’ve read, Phyllis Smith’s work as Sadness is told to be amazing, and Joy, who is actually just Leslie Knope’s animated counterpart, should be a piece of cake for Amy Poehler. You can check all of the promotional videos, including the teasers with the cast, on Pixar’s Youtube channel.

Speaking of cast, we should also mention the characters. Our main two emotions are Joy and Sadness. Although it starts like Joy is the one we should cheer for, and Sadness is just a slob who messes up everything, the movie takes an interesting turn and you find yourself sympathizing greatly with Sadness. Inside Out shows that just like life is not black and white, emotions cannot be simplified either, and you need Sadness in your life as much as you need joy.

Outstanding in every way, Inside Out is a movie that you shouldn’t miss, and definitely watch in theater if possible to enjoy the beautiful visuals in the best way possible. 9.5/10

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