Pixar turns filmdom inside out

BY BRIANNA JETT | JULY 09, 2015 5:00 AM

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Inside Out, Pixar’s latest animated feature, opens with an animated short dedicated to the love two singing volcanoes have for each other — and the tectonic activity that brought them together. It was perhaps the same tectonic activity that rocked the box office when Inside Out was released on June 19, breaking the record for the highest grossing début for an original motion picture. According to Forbes, the film brought in approximately $91.5 million. 

The animated film follows the story of 11-year-old Riley, voiced by Kaitlyn Dias, whose parents move the family from Minnesota to San Francisco. Her emotions, each with its own character and personality, attempt to guide her through the change. Things go wrong, though, when Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler, and Sadness, voiced by Phyllis Smith, are lost in the far reaches of Riley’s mind. Without them, only Anger, Fear, and Disgust are left in headquarters to influence how Riley reacts to her new home. 

I give this movie 5 of 5 stars, and I’m not the only one. Critics across the board have heaped praise on the children’s movie. However, as many reviewers before me have said, the movie is great for audiences of all ages, not just kids. 

The voice acting alone is reason enough to go see the movie. Poehler does a stellar job embodying her emotion and character. Although the figure is not a replay of Poehler’s role on “Parks and Recreation,” there are moments of Joy’s relentless optimism that remind me of Leslie Knope. Smith gives life to Sadness, a voice you may recognize from “The Office.” And although Mindy Kaling does not have as many lines as Poehler or Smith, she plays Disgust almost too well. 

Co-Director Pete Docter crafts Inside Out as a look inside a young girl’s mind, and it’s breathtaking. Not only is the story original, but the images show a unique view of the complexity of emotions and memories. There are dream worlds, islands of personality and imagination, and a train of thought to connect it all. 

Besides the obvious appeal to children, the movie should be seen by all ages. The story is more than just a story about a young girl. It’s about growing up and letting go. It’s about coping with change and balancing emotions. It’s funny and it’s sad; you might even cry. But it’s good —  Pixar good. Docter’s last movie was Up, if everything else I have said is not enough to persuade you. 

So now that the movie has been in theaters for a few weeks, and the crowds have quieted down, I urge you to go see the movie. No matter your age, I think you’ll love it.

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