The plethora of awards for Pixar’s Inside Out is overwhelming. Appearing on countless end of year lists, nominated for two academy awards, winning a Bafta and a Golden Globe among many other plaudits; Pixar haven’t seen this level of success since Toy Story, despite producing more or less consistently solid animations in this time period.
Inside Out challenges the perceptions of what a “kid’s film” should be about, and while Pixar has always made films that hit on multiple levels, none have done this as much as Inside Out. Based on a child called Riley, who is enjoying what she believes to be the best years of her life, she has to move house unexpectedly when her Dad lands a new job in San Fransisco. This sudden change in lifestyle is hardly ever made without careful consideration from the parents, it’s incredibly difficult to leave what is their home too, but even more difficult for children to comprehend.
Inside Out offers us an insight into the child’s thought process, their essential core emotions and how they react to situations like this. With each emotion voiced by a recognisable comedian; Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith), they reside within Rileys mind, competing for her attention, conflicted in how to react to their world being turned upside down.
In what is arguably Pixar’s most challenging film to date, far more intelligent than it first might seem, offering up relatable references and explanations to things such as memory and subconscious, but most importantly for the child in all of us, imagination. By personifying something that cannot be seen, it has managed to reduce the intricacies of explaining why a child may feel the way they feel, to both children and adults alike.
This is a true Pixar classic for all the right reasons, taking on what can be perceived to be quite a mature subject matter in comparison to their other films, and transforming it into a fun, emotionally engaging, entertaining film for all ages. No doubt this opened the door for all sorts of discussions after viewing, and serves as not only an enjoyable film to watch, but potentially educational one too.