7:00 PM, 15th August, 2015
Inside Out is a brilliantly imagined film from Pixar. When I first heard about it, I was very dubious about how they could actually make the concept work without being overly farcical. I was very pleasantly surprised by this fresh, thought-provoking delve into our heads to see what makes us tick.
The head that we dive into most is that of eleven-year-old Riley. She’s just moved to a new home, new school and all of the stress that this brings means her emotions are running high. To help her navigate life she has her emotions – working in her head’s command centre – Joy (Poehler), Sadness (Smith), Fear (Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Anger (Black). After eleven years they’ve managed to work together to balance out Riley. But when a bad day at school leads to an argument that separates Joy and Sadness from command – we start two parallel story lines with Riley’s future mental health on the line.
The whole journey is an onslaught of ideas and colour – which if nothing else is an amazing visually artistic feast to relish on the big screen. Pixar has again delivered an inventive film for both kids and adults, with some of the references going well above the kids’ heads. The music is wonderfully composed, and helps weave a fantastic tale that blends smiles, concerns, laughs, fears, and empathy into an amazing, moving experience – the emotions in your head will be working at full pace just to keep up.
8:52 PM, 15th August, 2015
Toy Story takes place in a world where toys come to life as soon as all the people have left the room. We meet Woody, a cowboy doll, who is Andy’s favourite toy and the leader of all the toys in Andy’s room. The film opens with a joyous tribute to the wonder of childhood play. Andy plays out a scene in the old west involving a Mr Potato Head, a Slinky Dog with a force field, and a T-Rex. Woody, the hero of the scene, saves the day then spends the afternoon with Andy, just playing.
Woody and the toys’ carefree existence is thrown into chaos by a new arrival: Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. A top-of-the-line action figure, with a pneumatic helmet, pop-out wings, and digital voice clips; Buzz quickly becomes Andy’s new favourite, and also wins the affections of the other toys. Lashing out in jealousy, Woody accidentally separates himself and Buzz from Andy, and the two are forced to work together to find their way home.
The proverbial ‘one’ that started it all exactly 20 years ago, Toy Story is the first ever film entirely crafted using computer generated animation – and the first of Pixar’s legendary streak of quality family films. Filled with humour, clever references, great pacing, fantastic voice acting, and an all-around feel-good vibe that permeates all of Pixar’s work, Toy Story is exemplary of the power of new forms of filmmaking combined with the rock solid foundations of great storytelling.