Title: Inside Out
Director: Pete Docter
Voices: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling.
Pixar delivers a chef d’oeuvre on the scope of human moods. The 2015 American 3D computer-animated fantasy comedy that screened out-of-competition at the 68th Cannes Film Festival conquered the hearts of worldwide audiences.
The kaleidoscope of emotions pertaining to mankind is presented through a simple and universal coming-of-age story of the 11-year-old Riley. Growing up can be a bumpy road, and this young girl will have to face it when leaving her Midwest life because her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control centre 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, when Sadness accidentally causes herself and Joy to get lost within the rest of Riley’s mind (including “Long Term Memory,” “Imagination Land” and “Dream Productions”), along with her most important memories, known as “Core Memories.” This puts Riley’s mind and emotions into pandemonium, as she finds herself overwhelmed and confused at her inability to feel joy or sadness.
The personification of feelings and their evolution, as a child approaches adulthood, is utterly beguiling. The way their complexity makes them leave a one shaded identity to embrace a rainbow spectrum, where more emotions overlap releasing multifaceted sensations in our souls, is astounding. The mysteries of the mind, how memories get removed, retrieved, reversed and reshaped through time, is majestically portrayed by the creator of ‘Monster, Inc.’ and ‘Up’: Peter Docter.
‘Inside Out’ has the ability to amuse children and take adults on a trip down the rabbit hole of a young girl’s psyche, which mirrors the experience we all had when traversing the tunnel of puberty, abandoning the cocoon-like environment of childhood, confronting our first crisis and hardships.
Just as powerful is the short Pixar movie that precedes ‘Inside Out’, ‘Lava’, which is a musical love story between two volcanoes set in Hawaii, inspired by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of ‘Over the Rainbow,’ featuring the voices of Kuana Torres Kahele and Napua Greig, who wonderfully duet the pun-dream about these two geological cones seeking someone to “lava.”
The love-lava story, just as the feature that follows, is an inside-out depiction of emotions that marks once again Pixar’s great talent in moving audiences.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi