Harland Banks’s review published on Letterboxd:
2021 Blu-Ray Watch #2
Inside Out is a film that I've always viewed as a good film but one that has never really connected with me in the way it clearly has connected with the majority of people and part of that way because when I originally watched this film I was a young teenager in class and used to hate watching movies in school because I was too distracted but even after multiple watches by myself I still felt the same way or that was at least until this time.
Inside Out is a beautifully animated film with some of the most fascinating world building I've seen in an animated film! From the realism of the real world to the beautiful childlike wonder world of the brain, like imagination land to the command center and all the other great additions to this film! One of the main things I did love about this film was this world building aspect because they did an amazing job at completely submerging the audience into this different reality that does a fantastic job at capturing and introducing us to the real Riley which plays a huge part in investing the audience into the adventure and helping us understand exactly why it is so important! The animation was gorgeous and I definitely really liked the character designs bit there was a small thing that bothered me which was that I didn't like that all the emotions in Riley's head were undefined artistically while every other emotion in all the other characters head had something added to the design that connected them to the character they represented and I really wish they did that with the main set of emotions.
Another issue I had with this film was I wasn't in love with the pacing of it, at time I felt like it was too over the top and too all over the place and sometimes this lousy pacing would kill really big and important moments of the film. I really enjoyed the story and character development but like I already said the erratic pacing implements itself in the wrong ways at the wrong times and I can really ruin that sentimental connection to the film. I did love how the told part of Riley's story through her memories and shined on different important parts of her life and felt like it was a great way to connect the audience to the characters. I also really loved the voice acting, everyone was fantastic and nothing ever felt like it stood out as an outsider to the film, I really did feel fully submerged and invested into this world and story.
At times Inside Out can make the wrong turn or do something that kind of puts the film off but the overall beauty of this film truly comes in it's themes and understanding of it's characters and that's something Pete Doctor has proven time and time again that he has mastered and in this film nothing has changed on that front. The tone and themes of this film are fantastic and this film despite having it's flaws without a doubt has that beautiful little Pixar spark aswell as it's own unique charm, heart and silliness that makes it a very fun film to watch. The atmosphere is beautifully bubbly and sucks you in with it's unique perspective on imganatiation and childlike wonder but completely woos you with it's capabality to handle and spotlight such mature and intense themes about social and emotional development. This film does a fantastic job at connecting you to the characters especially Riley and the fantastic story without losing your interest and that's why I would definitely recommend this film to anyone that loves Pixar!
Final Rating: 8.5/10