Continuing my countdown of every Pixar movie…
#6. Inside Out (2015)
(no change from previous ranking)
Inside Out followed a trio of mediocre Pixar films (Cars 2, Brave and Monsters University), making viewers’ first reaction relief that the studio hadn’t lost it.
Far from it. This movie is thrillingly inventive, taking the somewhat familiar idea of “people inside your head” and exploding it with visual and thematic ingenuity.
Amy Poehler and Phyllis Smith deliver wonderful performances as Joy and Sadness, two personified emotions inside the mind of a pre-teen girl, Riley. The film explores how those feelings are really two sides of the same coin, and has one of the most touching resolutions in any Pixar film.
I love the attention paid to Riley’s family. You really get a feel for their dynamic (and the glimpse into Mom and Dad’s own brains is hilarious).
Visually, Inside Out is a feast. Memories are depicted as glowing glass orbs that file in as they’re created, then get shuttled off to long-term memory. The ominous Memory Dump is where these orbs go once they’re forgotten, and it’s the setting for one of the film’s most sad and powerful moments. We love you, Bing Bong!
Inside Out is quintessential Pixar. It depicts a fantastic world with charming specificity, makes resonant emotional points about the human condition, and does it all with smart and unexpected humor.