What if feelings had feelings? Or better yet – how do our thoughts affect our feelings, create memories and gain new knowledge? These hidden mysteries of life are uncovered in Disney’s latest animated movie Inside Out. Over two years in the making, Disney has finally come up with a one-of-a-kind movie that looks into human psyche and could possibly give a glimpse into the workings of the human mind.

American filmmaker Pete Doctor helms this movie, and with directing credits that include UP (2009) and Monsters, Inc. (2001), one can be certain that Inside Out will definitely be an iconic movie. It centers on main character Riley Andersen (Kaitlyn Dias) and the five main emotions that exist in her mind. These are Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear – each with a unique colour of their own and voiced, respectively, by Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader.

As an 11-year-old girl born in Minnesota, these voices in Riley’s head determine the actions she take and her verbal reactions to her surroundings. The emotions are based in the “headquarters” of her mind and control her thought processes round the clock. This way, viewers literally see the emotions through the eyes of Riley. Joy and Sadness are the central characters as they determine Riley’s moods. So given their contrasting personalities, they are naturally at odds with each other.

This contrast sometimes causes a mess when the rules that are set are not followed, and leads to confusion for the other emotions. The plot is easy to follow, and the story  is delightfully simple. Sadness makes a recurrent mistake that leaves Joy scrambling to salvage it, only for things to become catastrophic, with the possibility that it might jeopardise Riley’s key senses and core memories.

The emotions are given ample screen time to develop their characters, and they each stand out individually with unique traits of their own. As Joy, Poehler’s voice keeps upbeat throughout and maintains a positive tone even in face of adversity. On the other hand, Smith’s low tone gives an idea of eternal sadness, and every action of hers is negative, regardless of her intentions.

As a movie about feelings and memories, Inside Out dishes many things familiar to us that we can relate to – imaginary friends, dreams, nightmares and even déjà vu. These are also where most of the comedic elements are derived from, as Joy constantly tries to keep things in order together with Sadness. Thus, it’s no doubt that this movie would be emotionally relatable for almost anyone.

At a relatively short running time of just over 90 minutes, Inside Out delivers a rollercoaster ride of emotions (pun intended) that should easily resonate with anyone. Pixar has upped its ante once again, and along with that, raised everyone’s expectations on the quality of its next animated movie. Deep down, it changes the way people think about how others think, and even themselves too. If you’re searching for a movie that would be suited for any age demographic, this is what you’re looking for. You wouldn’t want to miss out on an animated gem like this.

Inside Out is now showing in theatres.

Directed by: Pete Docter
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Running time: 94 minutes
Rating: 4/5

This film was reviewed in the 3D format

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