Inside Out – Blu-ray review

Grown-ups cry too. It’s alright. Seriously, it’s fine. Let’s get that out of the way, because if you sit through this with dry eyes, something is very wrong indeed.

By now, Pixar’s deceptive reputation is truly established. Its bright animations bring in the children, but really they’re aiming at you – right where your innocence used to be.

Pixar has taken a few years to steady itself after the emotional turmoil of Toy Story 3. Here, it’s back on form, spearheaded by Pete Doctor, the guy responsible for Up. He has renewed resolve, not to mention fresh ways of dancing all over your feelings.

Inside Out is the coming-of-age story of Riley, a little girl whose life is derailed by a home move. The Pixar twist? This all takes place from the perspective of her emotions, which must work with – and against – each other.

Joy’s responsibility is laughter. Disgust keeps a wary eye on broccoli. Anger, naturally, is master of tantrums. Together they push Riley’s buttons, although they struggle to understand the purpose of Sadness.

It is a brilliantly realised concept, one of blazing originality – and it only gets more layered as Riley enters her pre-teens.

A land of subconscious fears, a factory of abstract notions and a library of personality-defining memories: this is a profound gaze into the human condition.

To what end? To illustrate the emotional upheavals of growing up, and to remind you of all that is lost in the process.

Pixar is more ruthless than ever, unashamedly strumming on your heartstrings. The tear-jerking opening of Up was merely practice, it seems.

Is all this a bit much for the kids? Not necessarily. The younger ones may not get the various psychological references but this is, at all times, a sensory treat.

The human mind is beautifully imagined and brought to life with candy-coloured animation. The disc transfer is superb, as we would expect from Disney/Pixar, with rich shades and clean lines.

There is less happening on the audio front than on some other Disney titles, but it is a great mix. Dialogue, of which there is plenty, is clear and well balanced. The sound effects you do get are textured and pronounced. Then there’s the simple, piano-led score, which is afforded plenty of weight and dynamism.

Inside Out is not just one of Pixar’s best, it is one of this year’s most innovative and impactful films. There’s really nothing like it – just ready your shirt sleeves.

Buy Inside Out on Blu-ray at Amazon

Bonus content

  • Lava
  • Riley’s First Date?
  • Paths to Pixar: The Women of Inside Out
  • Mixed Emotions
  • Commentary
  • Sneak Peeks

Kob began his career at What Hi-Fi?, starting in the dusty stockroom before rising up the ranks to join the editorial and production team as the Buyer’s Guide editor. Experienced in both magazine and online publishing, he now runs the TV & audio section at Trusted Reviews where he keeps a beady eye on all the latest comings and goings in the hi-fi and home cinema market.