Movie Review: Pixar’s “Inside Out”

inside out


All the reviews are saying that Inside Out is so creative and Pixar’s greatest. From the perspective of an adult, I agree it was smartly done, but I do have a warning if you plan on taking younger children. If you see trailers, Inside Out looks like it will be a super fun movie for people of all ages, but to be honest, my 3 1/2 year old and 6 year old got scared because “sadness” was a running theme in the movie. My kids were not the only ones scared, quite a few children in the audience were crying or had to be taken outside.

Inside Out is the brainchild of Director Peter Docter. Five years ago, when he saw his 11 year olf daughter going through a sad spell, he wondered what what going on in her brain. As a result, he started researching human emotion, neuroscience, and the brain. The story of Inside Out was conceived from his research and his daughter’s emotions.




Riley is a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl, but her world turns upside-down when she and her parents move to San Francisco. Riley’s emotions — led by “Joy” try to guide her through this difficult, life-changing event. However, the stress of the move brings “Sadness” to the forefront. When “Joy” and “Sadness” are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind, the only emotions left in Headquarters are “Anger”, “Fear” and “Disgust”.


Each emotion is in charge of a part of Riley’s personality. The emotions also manage Riley’s memories before they become core memories (long term memories). The theme of emotion and how the brain works is a foreign concept for younger children. The story is complex and difficult to follow for younger ones. Not to mention the sadness associated with it.

On the flip side, I really appreciated Inside Out. Exploring the brain and imagining how it works was actually really magical. It made me think about the complexity of the human brain. The movie almost gives you a whole new understanding and perspective.

The take away message of the movie is one that adults will regard. It is all about adapting to change and understanding that it is okay and even necessary to show emotion. This is a heartfelt movie for preteens (8+) and teens who are at the point in their life when there is a lot of emotion and a lot of change.

My final word: definitely watch Inside Out, but maybe by yourself or if you have preteens or teens, then definitely with them.

Rating: PG

Voice Cast: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Kaitlyn Dias

Director: Pete Docter

Co-Director: Ronnie del Carmen

Producer: Jonas Rivera

Screenplay by: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley

Opens Friday, June 19