INSIDE OUT is one of Pixar’s finest films, and there is little higher praise I could give a film than that. Though I still prefer UP for its deep symbolism and mature message, and the Toy Stories have a more iconic cast, I believe that the argument could be made that INSIDE OUT is Pixar’s most meaningful and skillfully crafted film yet.
It approaches a premise and message as convoluted and complex as the human mind, and somehow, effortlessly streamlines it into a narrative so simple and human that any child will understand. And the film’s aim is nothing less ambitious than personifying the building blocks of every human being on the planet and teaching us their value. As an adult with a Psych degree, the biggest surprise wasn’t the message, or even the specific workings of the mind, but how well they were fit into a traditional narrative structure. INSIDE OUT is a coming of age tale, told in a way that couldn’t be more on-the-nose, but with delightfully unpredictable results. Per usual, Pixar never fails to follow their premise to its logical conclusions, however difficult those may be. Be assured, all of your emotional buttons will be pushed during the journey.
The visuals inside the mind of young protagonist Riley are striking and unique, and her ‘real world’ is differentiated by being one of Pixar’s most authentic and dark to date. The performances add surprising nuance and constant humor to what could have been simple emotional notes. The score pulls at the heartstrings. Director Pete Doctor has orchestrated another masterwork. Go see it. It’ll make you a better person.
3D Recommendation: Flawless, per the case with most CG animated films. It definitely brings the world to life!