By Patrick Hopkins

Disney’s Pixar has continually stunned me with its incredible ability to keep its films fresh and interesting. Since Toy Story’s release in 1995, the year of my birth, Pixar’s collection has grown to a total of 15 feature-length films. I have loved each and every one of them (Cars 2 notwithstanding, did not particularly care for it). Inside Out is a perfect example of Pixar at its absolute best, it is a film that pushes the boundary of their narrative ability even further. Pixar’s films are beautiful because they pay so much attention, not just to the what, but to the how and the why of a story, and this tale is no different. Directed by Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen, who together wrote the story of the film, it revolves around a young girl Riley who has recently been moved to a new home in San Francisco. Much of the story takes place, not merely in the world around her, but in Riley’s mind itself. Inside, Riley’s emotions are personified as Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness, a wild bunch of characters whose interactions determine Riley’s feelings. The cast of the film is marvelous, containing Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Mindy Kaling (straight from the American Office), Richard Kind, and Kaitlyn Dias. Inside Out is incredibly relatable, making a personal, small-scale story feel like an adventure. The emotions featured on-screen and their experiences provoked everything from outrageous laughter to shameless tears from within. I found myself incredibly moved at more than several occasions. Pixar manages to delve into psychology, opening up young Riley’s mind to the audience and expressing clever symbolic references to psychological concepts. Narratively speaking, they have gone where they have never gone before.

In a Hollywood where originality is waning, it is nice to see that there are still some production companies with an acute sense of storytelling. Pixar has always excelled in its storytelling; I truly hope it continues to do so.

Image by Imdb (