When her father's new job causes the family to be uprooted from their hometown in Minnesota to San Francisco, young Riley (the voice of Kaitlyn Dias) has mixed emotions. Inside the control room of her brain are Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Fear (Bill Hader). They must work together to help Riley get through this traumatic life-changing event. But when Joy and Sadness get separated from the other emotions, memories are in danger of being lost. They must find their way back to the control room to save the day. "Inside Out" is an inventive and enjoyable animated adventure. This little gem puts Pixar back in the driver's seat of delivering creative family entertainment. Co-directors/writers Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen deserve credit for putting the studio back on track with this highly original concept. They get plenty of help from the talented voice cast. Besides those listed above are Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan, who provide the voices of Riley's parents. But the most memorable voice belongs to Richard Kind, who breathes life into the young girl's imaginary friend Bing Bong - a creature helping Joy and Sadness on their journey. This character is part elephant, part cat and pink cotton candy. While most of this film takes place inside Riley's head, there are several hilarious brief glimpses inside the minds of other characters - some take place over the closing credits. A note of caution: the 3D version falls flat. The movie is deep enough in 2D. An added treat is the delightful animated short that precedes the main feature. "Lava" tells the story of a lonely volcano looking for love. It's a Hawaiian-flavored musical that enhances this cinematic family excursion. Hard to get out of your head, "Inside Out" is a joyful experience for young and old alike.
The Nov. 3, 2015 "Inside Out" Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD release is simply stunning for both the eyes and ears. This is one of the best movies of the year and deserves repeat viewings. But there's added pleasure in the wealth of extras included. Among the bonus features are the theatrical animated short "Lava" and an entertaining new cartoon short called "Riley's First Date?". There are also several background featurettes to explore. The many elements in the filmmaking process are spotlighted in "Story of the Story", "Mixed Emotions", "Mapping the Mind", "Paths to Pixar: The Women of Inside Out", "Our Dads, the Filmmakers" and pieces on film editing and sound. This is a definite collectible that's perfection from the inside out.