Inside Out might not be in the upper echelon of Pixar movies (top 5 for me are the Toy Story 1-3, Monsters Inc. and Up) but it’s another solid entry and winner for the studio. I really enjoyed the story but beyond that the voice casting was so well done. This 4-disc set release offers excellent video and audio and a fine selection of bonus material.
-Ultimate Collector’s Edition-
Genre(s): Animation, Family, Comedy
Disney | PG – 95 min. – $39.99 | November 3, 2015
THE MOVIE – 4.25/5
Pixar, after a few missteps (*cough* Cars 2 and Monsters University *cough*), their track record still remains relatively intact with the latest being Inside Out, an inventive, fun and semi-emotionally film that might not rise to the levels of the Toy Story Trilogy or Monsters Inc. yet still is memorable and very well made by Disney/Pixar veteran, Pete Docter.
The movie opens with the birth of baby Riley (KAITLYN DIAS) and at that moment Joy (AMY POEHLER) and Sadness (PHYLLIS SMITH) come to being. When Riley continues to grow, through which we see her major moments of her young life, emotions Anger (LEWIS BLACK), Disgust (MINDY KALING) and Fear (BILL HADER) are created. Together they touch her memories and at the same time, various islands — Hockey, Goofball, Family, Honest and Friendship Islands — are formed connected via light to the headquarters inhabited by the emotions.
Joy more or less is the leader of the group wanting only Riley to be happy while guiding the others with their duties such as Anger controlling tantrums, Disgust showing her disdain for broccoli, and Fear guiding her around the obstacles in life. Left out is Sadness as Joy doesn’t allow Riley to be sad, always seeing the bright side of any situation.
Life for Riley is going well making friends and loving hockey but when she and her family move from Minnesota all the way out to San Francisco for her father’s (KYLE MACLACHLAN) new business venture, it’s only downhill although Joy attempts to make the best of the situation especially after Riley’s room is small, she’s sleeping on a mattress on the floor (the family’s furniture was lost in transit) and she’s starting a new school.
Making matters worse, Sadness seems to be affecting everything she touches including new memories as well as core memories, those that make Riley who she is. Things go haywire when, during a struggle between Joy to stop Sadness from spreading her dourness, the pair end up outside of HQ and on the outside where all of Riley’s various memories are stored (while others that are deemed needless end up at the bottom of a chasm). They now must find a way to get back as the other three are not exactly the ones to be in control, anger especially. During this time, Riley begins the process of rebelling against her parents and her behavior threatens her longstanding islands which one by one begin to crumble placing Joy and Sadness in grave danger.
The pair must make it back to HQ before it’s too late as Riley, under the control primarily by Anger, desires to runaway back home. In reality, and darkly enough, without Joy and Sadness, Riley more or less is on her way to becoming the female equivalent of Dexter…
The film was helmed by Pete Docter who previously directed the aforementioned Monsters Inc. as well as the adventurous Up and this is another success. It’s got everything going for it and appeals to almost all ages from kids to their parents, there’s something here for everybody both in the jokes but especially the core story about growing up which anyone can relate to, young and old. I’ve read some criticisms from parents about it being too much for children but to them I point to the bully Sid in Toy Story, Jessie’s story in Toy Story 2 (in which she abandoned by the roadside) and of course Toy Story 3 in which during the climax they were nearly incinerated. This isn’t to neglect the classic Disney animated features like Bambi and The Lion King.
Inside Out is a fun and innovative movie, the latest from Pixar who continues to impress. Although it’s not as strong on story or even, ironically, emotions compared with the Toy Story Trilogy or the fun factor of Monsters, Inc. or family themes of Finding Nemo, it’s still a strong film propelled by solid writing but amazing voice talents headed by Amy Poehler with Phyllis Smith (of “The Office” fame) and Lewis Black standing out as well, the latter perfectly cast.
I highly recommend this film not just as a rental but to add to one’s Disney/Pixar library.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5
This 4-disc set comes housed in an HD Keep Case inside is a redemption code for the Digital Copy.
Audio Commentary – Director Pete Docter and Co-Director Ronnie Del Carmen provide an informative track breaking down the evolution of the movie from concept to animation.
Lava (7:06; HD) is a cute animated short that was shown before Inside Out.
Riley’s First Date? (3:56; HD) is a funny new short about Riley’s new boy-friend versus her father and his emotions.
Paths to Pixar: The Women of Inside Out (11:17; HD) profiles the ladies, including the voice talents, who worked on the film and their journey in life and their jobs.
Mixed Emotions (7:17; HD) delves into creation and designs of the emotion characters.
Story of the Story (10:30; HD) looks at the origins of the film and includes interviews with Pete Docter and others, including Bill Hader (Fear), who worked on the project and includes alternate versions for the characters.
Mapping the Mind (8:24; HD) covers the creation of the world within Riley’s head.
Our Dads, the Filmmakers (7:25; HD) – This featurette has the kids of the director and composer (who are real life friends) filming a short documentary on what their dads do.
Into the Unknown: The Sound of Inside Out (7:09; HD) focuses on the sound design including coming up with custom sounds for the movie. These are actually pretty interesting to see the items used to come up with them…
The Misunderstood Art of Animation Film Editing (4:43; HD) – This is a look at the editing process of an animated film.
Mind Candy (14:26; HD) are a series of animated shots, and scenes, of our favorite emotions. Some I recognize from various advertisements.
Deleted Scenes (16:53; HD) – We get four scenes, with introductions, that didn’t make it into the film and were in rough form.
Last up we get three trailers: “Remember” (1:38; HD), “Experience” (2:19; HD) and the Japan Trailer (2:30; HD).
2D VIDEO – 5.0/5 | 3D VIDEO – 4.75/5
If there were any animated movie that is reference quality, they usually come from Disney/Pixar and Inside Out is no different. Presented in its theatrically released 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and shown with a 1080p high-definition transfer, this looks incredible. Colors are bright throughout, detail is great and most impressive, as its most prominent with the Joy character, banding is smooth transitioning from her yellow glow to the darker background behind her. This is a clean looking picture with no apparent aliasing or pixilation.
The 3D transfer is also solid. There were no instances of ghosting and the depth shown is quite extensive whether it’s in the “real world” or inside her mind in both headquarters as well as outside as Joy and Sadness attempt to get back home. It helps that it is animated so colors are still vibrant and detail is well defined. For those with the equipment, this is well worth the cost for this “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” release.
AUDIO – 4.75/5
Disney has given viewers the option of either a 7.1 DTS-HD MA track and a 5.1 DTS-HR MA track with the latter being the default setting (at least on my system), so be sure to make the change in the audio sub-menu. With the 7.1 option selected, it’s an incredible aural experience showcasing crisp and clear dialogue levels but really shows off nice depth during the surprisingly numerous action-esque sequences such as Joy and Sadness’s journey through Riley’s collapsing personality islands.
OVERALL – 4.5/5
Overall, Inside Out might not be in the upper echelon of Pixar movies (top 5 for me are the Toy Story 1-3, Monsters Inc. and Up) but it’s another solid entry and winner for the studio. I really enjoyed the story but beyond that the voice casting was so well done. This 4-disc set release offers excellent video and audio and a fine selection of bonus material.
Brian Oliver a.k.a. The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.