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Wick's Review

Created Jul 16, 2015 11:42PM PST • Edited Sep 15, 2017 03:57PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    Inside Out is an intellectual high-wire act that’s cute, affecting and funny, a degree of blockbuster difficulty only Pixar would attempt. Yet the Emeryville hit factory succeeds magnificently, as they almost always do.

    Pixar legend Pete Doctor & stalwart Ronnie del Carmen turn cognitive theory into animated burlesque: a garden of childhood delights, cognitive delights and cinematic delights. Their movie profiles an 11-year old girl named Riley from inside her brain out to the world around her. Her joy, her sadness, her fear, her anger and her disgust get more than explored, they get voiced and personified by a joyous Amy Poehler, a sad Phyllis Smith, a fearful Bill Hader, an angry Lewis Black & a disgusted Mindy Kaling. How perfect is that?

    Inside Out has taken in $438 Million to date, proving that it is far from over-the-head of a mass audience. It helps that our hero is a girl. Doctor & del Carmen created her as such because of the inspiration that Doctor’s daughter provided for the idea, even as it broadens the fan base. Call it doing well by doing good.

    As is Pixar’s wont, the movie penetrates the craniums of not just children. You gotta love how it quickly peers into Mom, Dad, teacher, dog, cat, Cool Girl, you name it. All God’s creatures get turned inside out.

    Pixar always provides a terrific short ahead of its features. Inside Out gets a lovely little film called Lava. Lava is love, Hawaiian Island style, delivered in seven minutes of sweet love song and volcanic activity.

  3. Really Great 4.5
    The Emotions
    • Joy – Amy Poehler anchors the movie as the plucky upbeat spirit of our girl Riley.
    • Sadness – Phyllis Smith reaches bluenote perfection as Joy’s not-always-undeserved antithesis.
    • Fear – Bill Hader has been money in comedies for ten years now, including but not limited to the perfect Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder & Adventureland.
    • Anger – Lewis Black knows how to blow his top.
    • Disgust – Mindy Kaling knows how to turn up her nose.
    • Others’ Emotions
      • Mother’s Anger – Paula Pell (also Dream Director)
      • Father’s Fear – Carlos Alazraqui (also Brazilian Helicopter Pilot)
      • Mother’s Sadness – Lori Alan
      • Cool Girl’s emotions – Rashida Jones
    The People
    • Kaitlyn Dias as Riley
    • Diane Lane as Riley’s mom
    • Kyle MacLachlan as her dad
    • Richard Kind as Bing Bong, Riley’s long forgotten imaginary friend.
    • Paula Poundstone as Forgetter Paula
    • Bobby Moynihan as Forgetter Bobby
    • Dave Goelz as Subconscious Guard Frank
    • Frank Oz as Subconscious Guard Dave
    • Josh Cooley as Jangles the Clown
    • Flea as Mind Worker Cop Jake
    • John Ratzenberger as Fritz
  4. Male Stars Really Great 4.5
  5. Female Stars Really Great 4.5
  6. Female Costars Really Great 4.5
  7. Male Costars Really Great 4.5
  8. Great 4.0

    Pete Doctor is perfectly named to conceive and direct a film that turns brain science into entertainment. Inside Out is wildly entertaining and wonderfully interesting, if not quite in the top tier of Doctor’s Pixar canon occupied by Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. and Up, that most delightful of all.

    Doctor & Ronnie del Carmen directed their story from a screenplay that Doctor wrote with Meg LeFauve & Josh Cooley. Amy Poehler & Bill Hader (aka Joy & Fear) get credit for additional dialogue.

  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Great 4.0
  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Great 4.0
  13. Content
  14. Tame 1.4
  15. Sex Innocent 1.0
  16. Violence Gentle 1.4
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.7
  18. Glib 1.1

    Inside Out purports to show the neuropsychology of a normal brain in action in entirely plausible circumstances. Thus it deserves a Bio rFactor of 1.0 or totally normal bioreality. Who’s to argue? Not me.

    Doctor & Team consulted with several experts on brain science, e.g. the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. The Vulture article Inside Out Nails the Science of How Our Memories Function has details.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.4
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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