Pixar’s Inside Out debuted Monday to enthusiastic applause at a packed press screening at the Cannes Film Festival and earned rave reviews from critics, who called it “original” and “inspired.”
Directed by Pete Docter (Up), the animated feature tracks the adventures of the quirky emotions that live inside the mind of Riley, an 11-year-old prepubescent girl who’s been uprooted from her Midwestern town to a new school and home in bustling San Francisco. Amy Poehler voices Joy, leading an all-star cast that includes Bill Hader (Fear), Lewis Black (Anger), Mindy Kaling (Disgust) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith).
As Pixar’s first original film in three years, Inside Out—which played out of competition at the prestigious French film festival—marks a high-profile return to the type of fare that highlighted the studio’s (Toy Story, Monsters Inc.) offerings in its early years. The comedy is inspired by Docter’s own daughter, Elie, whose entry into adolescence transformed her from a rambunctious girl into a quiet preteen. “[As parents] we were like, ‘Wow, that’s so unlike her. What’s going on in her brain?'” Docter told EW last year. “That’s what led to the heart of the story—the question of what goes on inside our own minds.” Curiosity piqued? Here’s a round up of early reviews of the kid-friendly flick from around the web:
From Variety: “At the risk of hyperbole, people will still be thinking in terms of these anthropomorphized Emotions long after movies as we know them are gone, in the distant future, when screens are obsolete and immersive stories are beamed directly into your frontal lobe. There’s a reason they call Pixar’s inner team the ‘Brain Trust’: They can be counted on not only to imagine, but to execute such original ideas like these.”
From HitFix: “The dramatic elements of Inside Out will stick with you, but don’t fear. The humor is palpable. Sure, the shtick of having an intense and loud comedian such as Black voice Anger is painfully obvious, but it’s in the emotional control rooms of Riley’s parents where, again, the film’s creativity and the laughs really come in to play. And when Docter depicts the emotions in people outside Riley’s family? It only serves to answer the main question we asked at the beginning of this review. You can make a coherent, entertaining and moving experience out of this concept as a feature length film and it can be very, very good.”
From The Wrap: “It’s a great adventure that seriously tugs at the heartstrings, though exactly what the pre-teen audience will make of the delightful way Inside Out illustrates concepts like abstract reasoning is hard to fathom. Not that it matters — there’s plenty for them to love, too.”
From The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s an audacious concept, and Docter’s imagination, along with those of his numerous collaborators, is adventurous and genially daft enough to put it over. And there are unexpected surges of emotion in the late-going, as Riley’s equilibrium is re-established and the primacy of the parent-child bond is reaffirmed. In the end, Inside Out has to be one the most conceptually trippy films ever made as a PG-rated popcorn picture for the general public.”
Inside Out will be released June 19, 2015.