Our first experience at the Odeon’s Screen Unseen – £5 for a screening of a soon-to-be-released mainstream movie. What’s the catch? You don’t know what the film is going to be. Although they do drop a few clues onto Facebook, apparently.
When the censor’s certificate came up as Inside Out, a few people cheered. A good sign. This is the latest movie from the geniuses at Pixar, under the Disney banner, released recently in the US and due out late July 2015 in the UK.
A good animated film usually works on different levels, appealing to both younger and older generations.
On a simple level, Inside Out tells the heart-warming coming-of-age story of 11 year-old Riley, uprooted from her happy life in Minnesota to move to San Francisco with her parents. But with shades of The Truman Show, her emotions are ruled by a panel of whacky characters from HQ inside her head, rather than inside a TV studio.
From here, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust manage Riley’s life, inserting coloured balls into her memory bank through a complex bagatelle-like mechanism. Fortunately, Joy has held sway over most of the young girl’s earlier life. But in San Francisco, things start to go awry and the personality islands in her life – family, ice hockey, friends, goofball and honesty – begin to disintegrate, and other emotions have more impact.
Spoiler alert….there’s a happy ending. But not before Riley’s world almost completely falls apart, through a series of brilliant CGI trickery, smart dialogue and imagery, in jokes, more vivid characters….and The Train of Thought.
On a deeper level – OK, not that deep – the message is that you can’t be upbeat all the time. Joy works in tandem with Sadness to pull Riley back from the brink, and all the other emotions and experiences form an integral part of her maturing life.
A fantastic cast voice the characters. The Director also directed Up. Pixar created Toy Story, Ratatouille, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo, amongst others. If that doesn’t persuade you to go and see this magical movie, I’ll add a new emotion to Riley’s HQ – surprise.