The streamlined storytelling of Pixar’s “Inside Out,” directed by Pete Docter (“Up”), startles for many reasons, but most for the ease with which it executes its improbable premise—“mind workers,” or cartoon figures inside the head of eleven-year-old Riley, and how they define her emotional state—and makes it wholly accessible and very, very funny. Reportedly informed by extensive research with scientists in multiple fields, “Inside Out” is provocative about how emotions and memories drive the other characters as well. The quick glimpses inside Riley’s mother and father’s minds are terrific, too, and the device culminates in one of the most hilarious, logical, inspired, nearly perfect final scenes ever. “Inside Out” is also boldly designed, the use of color running hot and cool at just the right moments. Co-directed by Ronnie Del Carmen. With the voices of Amy Poehler (Joy), Phyllis Smith (Sadness), Bill Hader (Fear), Lewis Black (Anger), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Richard Kind, Diane Lane, Kyle Maclachlan, Paula Poundstone, Frank Oz, Rashida Jones, Flea and John Ratzenberger. 94m. Reviewed in “flat” version. (Ray Pride)
“Inside Out” opens June 19. The trailer not only conveys the premise well, it gives a glimpse of the film’s terrific look.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.