Matias Bombal’s Hollywood

You'll love meeting the windmills in your mind in "Inside Out". Walt Disney/Pixar Animation Studios

You’ll love meeting the windmills in your mind in “Inside Out”. Walt Disney/Pixar Animation Studios
Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios are a world unto themselves, and in a way so NOT like the modern Disney of today, that they make for interesting bedfellows. “Inside Out” is a sheer delight from start to finish. It is witty, fresh, and even cerebral. Writers Pete Docter (who also directs), Ronaldo Del Carmen, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley have an introspective gem that gets inside your mind, literally, or at least inside each of the wonderful characters that you’ll meet in this smart kids movie that will have plenty of great moments for adults, too.

Just what may be found in everyone’s mind?

In this picture, there are animated characters that represent emotions that reside in the brain area of our cartoon heroine, a girl named Riley. Each of them is voiced by some contemporary voices that you may know: Joy (Amy Pollard), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith).

Riley is a young girl who has traveled with her parents from Minnesota to San Francisco, where her father (Kyle MacLachlan) has moved for work. Mom (Diane Lane) is concerned that their moving van has not appeared and the family has no clothes or furnishings. Compound this with Riley’s first day at school, and we see how all of her emotions come to play within her head, where we spend much of the picture. Our group of emotions chronicle core memories and other impulses and react to events as they unfold outside Riley’s head. Taking the lead is the super positive and almost manic emotion of Joy, and as things become more glum for Riley, Joy embarks on an adventure through the deep recesses of Riley’s mind to save her from total depressive shut down.

I could imagine a pitch meeting of this storyline in Hollywood: “Fantastic Voyage” meets “The Phantom Tollbooth” for kids. Like the great Chuck Jones animated “Tollbooth” of 1970, this movie is clever, imaginative and fun. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it. The voices are so perfectly melded to the characters that it is sheer delight and I laughed out loud numerous times.

I am somewhat old fashioned in a modern world, and the only element that bothered me in the movie was the nonstop pace of Joy as voiced by Amy Pollard. It was at times much too fast, manic and breathless, and that irritated me. When she does eventually slow down later in the movie for just a few moments, it is only temporary, for she returns to non-stop positivity-plus in short order. This is a great and entertaining way to spend 94 minutes at the movies, and might be the kind of picture you’d not mind watching twice.

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