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While the official trailer, movie descriptions and posters may present the film in a modest light, the Pixar-Disney film Inside Out proves to be such a worthy and significant animated film to its audience.
The film is handed to us from the perspective of 11-year-old Riley, a devoted ice hockey fan and player, quirky, creative, and a family-orientated tween. The central timeline of the film revolves around Riley and her family relocating from Minnesota to San Francisco. While I initially describe it as Riley’s “perspective”, this word only scratches the surface of the film’s core. The heart of the film truly belongs to Riley’s emotions, the five manifestations that shape and mould Riley into her being—Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger.
The film can be looked at as a visual analysis of an individual’s mind, and how these five emotions equally contribute to the incremental progression of the human life. The characterisation of the five manifestations of Riley’s emotions educate us into accepting that the human mind is a sporadic battle of feelings and thoughts. We are left to ponder exactly what emotion, or who is it, that will determine how we create, envision and remember the memories that are hoarded in our head.
Each characterisation of Riley’s emotions is each given a fitting vocal representation—Amy Poehler as Joy, and Phyllis Smith as Sadness being my favourites. They articulate themselves into what we may understand the emotions to comprise of—indeed, Joy adopts a pragmatic and creative persona, contrasted with Sadness, who is a pessimist and realist.
The film ends on a high note, and the much more “experienced” and elderly members of the audience are given an inside joke. The film is implicit with the suggestion that our emotions become complex than what we have seen. The younger audience members are left to guess, while the more experienced audience members snicker at what Riley is inevitably to experience with her young teenage years.