‘Inside Out’ Packs Powerful Punch

inside-outMy wife, daughter and my schedules all aligned nicely the other day so we decided to take in Pixar’s latest movie — Inside Out. The film is about the voices inside the head of an 11-year-old girl who has the perfect life until her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco.

The girl, Riley, is really the subplot of the movie as the plot revolves around five key voices inside her head: Joy, Disgust, Fear, Sadness and Anger. Joy, played by Amy Poehler, takes center stage running the show from inside Riley’s head determined to prevent Sadness (played by Phyllis Smith, The Office) from taking over and turning the happy Riley into a sad, crying 11-year-old who misses her friends and home back in Minnesota.

Of course, in the end it will be Sadness that saves the day.

But along the way, viewers are treated to a cleverly written, funny and sometimes sad adventure. Adults and children will enjoy the animation, story line and well-placed one-liners. It is a story that reminds everyone of how vulnerable children are as they mature and endure the various types of struggles which are a part of growing up.

But it’s also downright funny.

The real adventure begins when Joy gets trapped outside of headquarters with Sadness. This means running Riley’s brain is regulated to Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Anger (played perfectly by comedian Lewis Black) which turns Riley into the mess we expect her to be. Joy, though, tries to fight back from deeper regions of the brain and works desperately to regain entry into the headquarters. She tries everything from hijacking Riley’s dreams to stealing a ride on the Train of Thought.

It is the thought put into the writing that makes the movie such a hit and a short review can by no means do justice to all the clever scenes.

For example, while on the Train of Thought, two boxes of cargo (which look like puzzle pieces) are accidently opened and spilled — causing Joy to worry — how will we ever be able to tell the pieces apart. Riley’s imaginary friend Bing Bong (Richard Kind), also riding the train, tells Joy not to worry — it ‘happens all the time.’ So they grab the blended pile of pieces and throw them into the two boxes — one labeled Fact, the other labeled Fiction.

The film is rated PG.

Rated 5 out of 5. This is definitely one of Pixar’s best films. I would rank it along side of Toy Story. The movie is funny, sad, thoughtful, engaging and entertaining — everything you want in a 90-minute show.

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