If we decide to ignore films like 50 Shades of Grey and Tak3n, 2015 has actually been a pretty damn good year for movies, and we're only halfway through! We've seen a mad man take on the apocalypse, dinosaurs escape their enclosures in a multi-million dollar theme park, superheroes doing their superhero thing, robots trying to understand the world (in multiple movies) and even an insane battle in a church in which many, many, many people get murdered in the most brutal of ways. It's been quite a year, and that's why it should not be taken lightly when I say that Inside Out is currently my favourite film of 2015.
Inside Out is the latest film from Pixar Animation Studios, the studio behind Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Up and so forth. I can almost guarantee you've seen at least half of their movies. Their newest film goes inside the mind of 11 year old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), who's just moved into a brand new, not-so-amazing house in a brand new, not-so-amazing city. Inside her head are her emotions, and it's these emotions who take the centre stage in the story. There's Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). Joy and Sadness find themselves in a tricky situation when they accidentally get lost in Riley's mind, taking with them Riley's long term memories. They must find a way to get back to the HQ before they affect Riley for good.
Pixar hit a high note after Toy Story 3's release back in 2010, which is currently my favourite animated film of all time. It hit all the right notes, both in terms of humour and heart. Their follow up films, Cars 2, Brave and Monsters University, weren't received quite as well. While I love both Brave and Monsters University, I can understand the negativity. None of them boasted with originality. Then came Inside Out, which, along with The Good Dinosaur (which comes out this Boxing Day), I've been hearing about for a fair few years now. It's safe to say that Pixar have officially made a comeback, providing us with one of their best films yet.
Inside Out is a hilarious and often very mature movie with a lot of heart. In similar style to Up, Inside Out gets you emotionally invested right from the get go. The opening few minutes are full of laughs and tears, showing us the origin of the emotions. It's a touching and heart warming scene that perfectly sets up the vibe for the rest of the movie. With narration provided by the always-hilarious Amy Poehler, the film was shaping out to be a masterpiece. And yes, it most certainly was.
As the plot began to expand, my love for this film did too. In typical Pixar fashion, they take the time to get you invested in these characters. They get you to care for them and love them before they start setting up any actual plot. There's plenty of small, touching moments, some of which do play a part in the bigger picture, but it's all about character build up. This is what Pixar do best. This is why they're constantly able to set up emotional scenes better than any other company I know. They're a studio that understands why people cry and they do their best to ensure we do.
Speaking of getting emotional, all of the emotions in this film play off of each other perfectly. They're a perfect mix of personalities, allowing plenty of humour to unfold. There's a brilliant scene early on in the plot where Anger, Fear and Disgust are forced to act like Joy would and it just goes to show how different and how vibrant these characters are. Their conflicting personalities make this film as original and as fun as it is, the character of Anger being a stand out. His constant aggression towards situations always managed to put a smile on my face. He brought the joy out inside of me.
While the emotions are all excellent in their own ways, my personal favourite character was Bing Bong (Richard Kind). He's a cotton candy elephant who used to be Riley's imaginary best friend, but as she grew older, he was forgotten, and he now wanders through long term memory and imagination land in search of a better life. He's hysterical, adding so much humour and lovability to this film that it's actually ridiculous, but obviously in a good way. I want my own Bing Bong. Bing Bong would make me happy. And yes, I know how that sounds. Don't judge me.
Another thing I love about Pixar is the little details they put in their films. Obviously, I didn't pick up on all the easter eggs, A113 being the main one I didn't spot, but Pixar add so much more to a film than just easter eggs. Everything from character traits to lines of dialogue are animated and acted to perfection. Joy sends off an enticing glow, while Sadness is always followed around by a shadow. It's the little things that make this film all the more amazing.
Without delving into spoilers, I'd like to at least mention how brilliant the ending of this film is. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's Toy Story 3 level of perfect, as I would consider that to be one of the greatest endings to any movie ever, but it certainly deserves to be ranked among it. It's every bit as touching and tear jerking as you'd hope, and it's then followed up by an absolutely hysterical sequence during the credits that you mustn't miss. Pixar are back, ladies and gentlemen, and I can't wait to see what they're up to next.
To sum up, Inside Out sees Pixar making one of their best films yet. It's creative, original, hilarious, touching and yes, a tear jerker. Plus, there's a cotton candy elephant. I can't imagine anybody not loving this movie. It's better than Monsters Inc!