Ever since Riley (voiced by Dias) came into the world, she has been ruled by her emotions. First her world was full of Joy (Poehler) but soon she was hungry and Sadness (Smith) took the reins, if ever so briefly. As she grew older and her emotions became more complex, Anger (Black), Fear (Hader) and finally when presented with broccoli, Disgust (Kaling) called the shots.
Riley was a happy child so Joy had control most of the time and she skilfully negotiated the tricky terrains that are toddler and childhood. Then one day when Riley was 11 years old, her family moved across the country to San Francisco and Riley began to sink into a deep despair.
For the very first time, Joy was out of her depth as Sadness unwittingly turned everything around her blue.
These emotions, as you can see by the pictures and trailer, are cute, animated physical representations of the emotion they portray. The graphics are divine, the characterisations, colours and voices are flawless. As most of the movie takes place inside Riley’s head, it would have been no easy task to show how memories and emotions work and how to bring that to life in a way that didn’t require a doctorate to understand.
Luckily, this is a Pixar movie and what we have is a gorgeous imagining of a difficult and very emotional time in a little girl’s life. It must be said that this is no cutesy kid’s movie. It deals with deeply emotional issues and I found myself wiping away a tear as often as I was laughing. Having said that, this may not be the best movie for our littlest movie-goers without parents willing to allow some ‘let’s talk about the movie’ time afterwards.
What this movie so wonderfully achieves is validation for all our emotions, not just the pleasant ones. We will all understand how a happy, cherished childhood memory becomes bittersweet with the passing of time. Pixar has never shied away from the deeper emotions of children and the child within us all and, although I love most of the Pixar movies, this is one that will stay with you for a very long time.
Get there early for the mini movie Lava that screens before the feature and wait for the credits for some laugh out loud antics just before you leave.
I cannot recommend this beautiful, wonderfully gorgeous and delightful movie enough.
Love Flick xx
Director : Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Starring : Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle McLachlan, Paula Poundstone
Running Time : 94 minutes
Release Date : 18 June 2015