Disney Pixar’s new animated feature film, Inside Out, is about those emotions swirling around in your head and how your brain handles all those various happenings throughout the day. From the mundane to the most absurd events your brain processes an amazing number of functions. Inside Out tugs at every bit of your emotions… because, well this movie, is all about emotions.

Though the biology of it all is not by any means be accurate in the way our minds actually cope and confront each moment, the message and moral is clear. Though for the sake of spoiler-free coverage I won’t say. You just need to know that Inside Out is an absolute treasure and cataloged in my mind as already one of my favorite Pixar films.

The movie is absolutely gorgeous, as we’ve come to expect from technology and industry-leading Pixar Studios. To me there is always that especially mesmerizing technical feat in each Pixar film, in Finding Nemo it was the movement of water, in Brave it was Merida’s hair, and in Inside Out it was the texture of the characters; just look closely, you’ll know what I mean. We were also fortunate to experience Inside Out in Dolby Atmos, which supports up to 128 discrete audio tracks from up to 64 unique speaker feeds which obviously helps when watching a film about the voices in your head.


Inside Out starts with the main subject of the film, Riley, who is uprooted from the comforts of Minnesota to weird and unfamiliar San Francisco where her dad is starting a new venture. (So Silicon Valley). Her brain works somewhat like a Rube Goldberg machine where thoughts come through after it is processed by one of five emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust or Anger. If those memories stand out beyond regular ones they become classified into ‘core memories’. These moments are the kind in each person’s life that stand out as so significant that it imprints into your personality.  The kind of moments that ingrain into your brain and soul that it’s nearly impossible to shake off. Nearly. You know, what makes you, you. In this case Riley’s brain has programmed her “islands of personality” with her goofy-side, friends, hockey and her family.

That’s where the movie takes off into a whole slew of problems for the Inside Out crew. Joy, the de facto leader of Riley’s emotions tries to maintain a happy environment regardless of life’s troubles.  Which is I’m sure how most of us expect to go about life, doing as much as we can to keep ourselves, and those around us, as happy as possible, Even during tough situations.

I won’t go into too much more detail around the movie’s story and plot, I hate spoilers as much as the next person. It’s not fair to ruin such a wonderfully crafted movie. It is sweet, sad, funny (probably the funniest film I’ve viewed in ages) and incredibly touching. To me though the movie is unlike any Disney/Pixar movie I’ve watched before. The movie is so much more mature than I had anticipated. It is NOT filled with violence and cursing and all those other things that a ratings board deems to be unsafe for children to watch. Rather, the film is much more appreciated with age, or real life experiences. Actions, emotions and life experiences are relative, and age and wisdom tends to change how one reacts to those moments. A child copes with and confronts loss in a different way an adult would. Though maybe this movie helps children understand what those emotions are like in that respect. Personally, I feel this movie will resonate much differently with each age group, and that’s a good thing.   

There are a lot of underlying themes here “What makes people happy?”,  “How do you help someone that is sad?” Questions about depression and anger. Not by any means easy conversations to have, let alone make into a clever animated film. I will definitely make a return trip to watch this film in theaters because I’m pretty sure I missed some of the nuances after all the crying and laughing. Seriously, this movie is a rollercoaster of emotions and I enjoyed every dip and peak. Inside Out hits theaters Friday, June 19.

Side Note: LAVA, is the animated short that plays in front of Inside Out. I loved it. Show up on time and make sure to catch it. I’ve been humming the song all week long.

TechnoBuffalo was invited by Dolby to view Inside Out at Disney’s El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. All thoughts and ideas are my own.