Cannes: Inside Out Review



Inside Out (2015)

Cast: Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Amy Poehler
Directors: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Country: USA
Genre: Animation | Comedy | Family

Editor’s Note: The following review is part of our coverage of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. For more information please visit or follow the Cannes Film Festival on Twitter.

The new Pixar animation film Inside Out had its world premiere in an out-of-competition slot at the Cannes Film Festival and opened to rave reviews. Directors Peter Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen take their audience on a spectacular trip inside the mind of an 11 year-old girl who struggles when having to move away from her Minnesota home because of her father’s new job in San Francisco. Riley has to leave her friends behind and has troubles adjusting to the unfamiliar city, her new and yet unfurnished home and a new school without her best friends.

The visuals of Inside Out are immensely stunning and add to the light atmosphere of the film.

Luckily, she is guided by her emotions who try to navigate Riley through her life as best as they can. There is Joy (Amy Poehler) who is generally optimistic and happy while Sadness (Phyllis Smith) prefers to lie down on the floor crying, insideout_2-1unable to see anything in a positive way at all. Disgust (Mindy Kaling) protects Riley from strange things such as broccoli or the superficial, trendy girls at school, Fear (Bill Hader) keeps track of possible disasters and evaluates risks whereas Anger (Lewis Black) wants Riley to be treated fair and explodes once he feels people are unjust to her.

They have their control panels in the so-called “headquarters” in Riley’s mind and observe the outside world from the inside. Joy is Riley’s most important emotion as she also tries to influence her fellow emotions in the headquarters in order to keep Riley happy. However, with the move to San Francisco, the emotions are also struggling to cope with the new situation, which is further complicated when Sadness accidentally manipulates one of Riley’s core happy memories. The headquarter is out of control as soon as Joy and Sadness head all the way to long-term memory to fix what’s been damaged leaving the helpless trio of Anger, Fear and Disgust in charge of handling Riley’s new life in San Francisco.

The film is alternating between the real world in which Riley lives and the inside of her mind. While San Francisco is dominated by grey colors, the inside world is very colorful, shiny and bright and therefore quite the contrast from the outside world. The visuals of Inside Out are immensely stunning and add to the light atmosphere of the film.

Inside Out’s journey through the mind is an extraordinary adventure and a wonderful film for the entire family.

Inside Out‘s journey through the mind is an extraordinary adventure and a wonderful film for the entire family. It literally goes down memory lane and explores Riley’s short-term and long-term memory, her subconscious, her personal characteristics called “identity islands” as well as “dream productions” – the film studio where all of Riley’s dreams and nightmares are produced – and imagination land. Although the subject matter might be too abstract for children at times, Inside Out might lure them back in with its beautiful visuals and its adorable main characters. Plus, their parents should be helpful in explaining them what’s going in a teenager’s mind once puberty hits or what the term subconscious is supposed to mean. While Inside Out takes mostly place in Riley’s head, the film also takes its audience into the minds of other people or animals to explain why they act the way they usually do in familiar, yet stereotypical situations. The story is very original and its witty screenplay offers hilarious, spot-on dialogues, especially when the emotions are arguing about certain situations and try to figure out what’s best for Riley and which one of them should take control.

8.5 Great

Inside Out is an entertaining, engaging and incredibly cute and funny feel-good movie.

  • 8.5

About Author

I’m a German based passionate film lover with main interests in contemporary, arthouse and independent cinema. I love the cinematic experience on screen, unconventional storytelling and getting carried away by it. Besides film, I am also interested in general pop culture and addicted to way too many TV shows I never seem to be able to catch up on.