What it’s about: Inside Out dives deep into the mind of 11-year-old Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias). Inside her headquarters✔ live five emotions led by rah-rah cheerleader Joy (Amy Poehler), whose optimistic outlook is the crux of Riley’s formative years, from infant to present time. Riley’s emotional team is rounded out by Fear (Bill Hader), who keeps her out of danger; Anger (Lewis Black), who ensures life’s imperfections turn out fair for her; Disgust (Mindy Kaling), whose high-minded opinions keep her from being a social outcast; and Sadness (Phyllis Smith), who has a difficult time understanding her role in Riley’s life and just wants to cry it out.
What parents will like: The Disney-Pixar creators do a wonderful job of visualizing the inner turmoil of a child and the frantic concern of parents. At the family dinner table, Riley’s mom (Diane Lane) innocently asks: “So, how was the first day of school?” To which Riley responds: “It was fine, I guess. I don’t know.”
What children will like: Some scenes, such as the journey into Long Term Memory, Imagination Land and Abstract Thought, might go over the heads of the younger set. However, children will relate to Riley’s attempt to navigate around a new home and a new school.
Bonus features: Don’t miss the lovely animated short Lava, a sweet, intoxicating musical love story and the bonus short Riley’s First Date.
(out of five) 4 out 5 stars
Directors: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Ronnie del Carmen
Cast: Voices of Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan
Rated: PG (mild thematic elements, action)
Running time: 102 min.