I TAKE my hat off to Pixar for developing animated film Inside Out, which depicts how five emotions control the mind of an 11-year-old girl. Naturally, each emotion has a distinct colour, shape and personality.
I enjoyed the tug of war between the five emotions, and I also enjoyed how two of them go on a road trip in the mind, with core theme islands, train of thought, dreams and subconscious. The animation is an explosion of rainbows and the creativity shown to depict the happenings in the girl's brain is nothing short of amazing, although kids won't understand these ideas.
However, it got tedious after awhile and I felt restless. I could feel the audience falling into a rut. Were they as disappointed as I was as to how things were proceeding?
Thing started to get worse and I dozed off for a few moments.
How did a great animation studio like Pixar fall flat on its face with Inside Out? The idea was remarkable and the presentation was even better, but it failed to grab me by the throat.
Firstly, the five emotions -- Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler of Trainwreck), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader of Trainwreck), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) -- get on your nerves after awhile. They were entertaining when they first appeared but they lost their lustre and attraction as time went by.
A supplementary character is Bing Bong (Richard Kind), or the girl's imaginary friend when she was a kid. As with the five emotions, it was amusing at first but it eventually got tiresome.
Another problem with the film is that it squeezed too many things and events into it. Directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen must have thought that having the film go at breakneck speed would have charmed audiences, but it actually had the opposite effect.
Inside Out is about a precocious girl, Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), who's the apple of the eye of her parents Mom (Diane Lane) and Dad (Kyle Maclachlan). Her first 11 years of her life in Minnesota goes by in a blur, with her parents doting on her and teaching her how to play ice hockey.
Her life is turned upside down when her parents move out west to San Francisco and end up in a small home with a dead rat in it.
Riley's trauma bursts onto the surface when she struggles to fit into the new school, her best friend back home gets a new BFF, and the pressure from her dad struggling with his new business take a toll on her. Add to the fact that the furniture has not arrived and you have a recipe for a disaster.
She reminisces about the good times back in the Midwest (I lived in Iowa for five years) and takes drastic action by deciding to run away.
This is when the five emotions take centrestage, particularly Joy and Sadness.
It's such a shame that this film with huge potential didn't live up to expectations.
2 out of 5 stars