#50 INSIDE OUT
Story by Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen. Screenplay by Pete Docter, MegLeFauve and Josh Cooley. Directed by Pete Docter. 94 minutes long.
So, it's time for another animated film, the sixth so far this year, following closely on the heels of Minions, but will it be any good?
Well, Duh, it's a Pixar film!
...would have been the old cry, but after the horrendous, 'just for the money', generic, by-the-numbers and bland Monsters University (quite possibly the worst Pixar film ever), the just above average, Brave and the woeful Cars 2 that law is no longer as immutable as it once was.
So it's a delight to report that Inside Out, Pixar's 15th animated feature is a wonderfully written, exquisitely animated, candy-coloured, 'out-of-the-ball-park', thing of wonder beauty. A 94 minute journey into the mind of a young girl that puts Pixar back where it deserves to be, at the top of the pile!
The story sees 11 year-old Riley and her parents relocate from Minnesota to San Fransisco through the eyes of the Numbskulls in control of Riley's emotions, Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust and Saddness as played by Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling and Phyllis Smith. Joy, Riley's first emotion, is in control and manages to control the other emotions for most of the time, but when Sadness inadvertently alters a core memory, changing it from one of joy to sadness, she sets off a chain-reaction of events that sees both her and Joy locked out of the control room and lost in Riley's vast memory and forced to journey, Apocalypse Now-like through her young mind, with the help of Riley's long forgotten imaginary friend, Jangles the candy-floss elephant clown back to the control booth before Fear, Disgust and Anger screw the pooch and destroy everything.
Using the age-old trope of the quest as its story driver, this is a rich and satisfying film that utterly gripped me from the opening and kept me engrossed till the very final frame.
BUT, despite all the fantastic animation, wonderful design, the fantastic invention, the subtle humour, the clever gags, this Pixar doesn't quite reach the giddy 10/10 heights of - The Incredibles, Up, Wall-E or the Toy Story Trilogy and it's hard to work out why? For some reason, some small, niggling reason, this doesn't quite light up all my rockets, it's missing something and for the life of me I can't tell you what that is. Maybe I wanted less adventure and more of the emotions in control, or maybe it's because I wanted to see what other people's control centres where like, or maybe the use of the quest as it's driving force just felt a tad too generic, but for whatever reason, and no matter how wonderful this is, it only feels like a 9/10 for me.
Still, as 9/10s go, this is certainly up there with the best of them! Go and see it and just marvel at the splendid of it all.