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DVD Review: Pixar’s “Inside Out”

DVD Review: Pixar's "Inside Out"

The standard of excellence
in every Pixar animated feature is so high, it’s become a given that each new
feature will be outstanding (or at least, one of various shades of
outstanding).

 

One sits down to watch each
new feature, says to the movie, “Impress me,” and it does. There are plenty of
books out there to explain why this is so, but generally common sense seems to
be the prevailing process. And it should come as no surprise that Pete Docter
directed Inside Out, as his Monsters, Inc. and Up has now given us glowing “core memories” of insight, character
and genuine warmth with Inside Out.

 

Inside Out
has, as Leonard Maltin once wrote, “what all the best Disney movies have—a
great premise to start with.” The idea of a command center within a person’s
brain goes back as far (and probably farther) as Disney’s 1943 wartime short, Reason and Emotion, which
directly inspired this film. There was an Epcot attraction called Cranium
Command
  with animated, live-action and Audio-Animatronics residents of an adolescent’s
brain (some of the stars of the film were Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, Charles
Grodin, Jon Lovitz and the voice of Corey Burton). ABC even had a very silly
sitcom called Herman’s Head with this premise given a “Three’s Company”-like
spin.

None of the above is being
pointed so we can say “Nanny-nanny-boo-boo, other people did this idea first.” Inside Out takes the concept and, as
Pixar does so well, expands on it (reportedly, it was a long, difficult, but
ultimately successful struggle). In their vision, the brain is a gigantic Theme
Park complex, with “lands” representing various aspects of the mind. A tight
logic was dreamed up to make it all seem plausible. And the parallels between
what is happening inside young Riley’s mind correlate masterfully with what
takes place in her external world.

 

Because of the unbridled
nature of the fantasy landscapes, Inside Out allowed the filmmakers to push colors
and design—even including abstract and two-dimensional moments (which,
according to the audio commentary—thank you—were among the most cumbersome
sequences to produce).

 

The new Inside Out Blu-ray doesn’t
disappoint in presenting these “mind-blowing” visuals in crystal clarity. The
package also includes a new short that takes the story to the next chapter plus
a few other nice features. Pixar’s lucky to have Docter in the house! (Sorry,
the bad little pun-making character in my brain just took the controls. I’m all
better now.)

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