|Inside Out: Joy and Sadness. Photo Disney / Pixar|
Animated with PRESTO animation system. Rendered with Pixar’s RenderMan®
Characters and C (original): Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Bing Bong (Richard Kind), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), Mom (Diane Lane), Dad (Kyle MacLachlan), Forgetter Paula (Paula Poundstone), Forgetter Bobby (Bobby Moynihan), Dream Director & Mom's Anger (Paula Pell), Subconscious Guard Frank (Dave Goelz), Subconscious Guard Dave (Frank Oz), Jangles (Josh Cooley), Mind Worker Cop Jake (Flea), Fritz (John Ratzenberger), Helicopter Pilot (Carlos Alazraqui), Clown's Joy (Peter Sagal), Cool Girl's Emotions (Rashida Jones).
C and characters (Finnish): Minka Kuustonen (Ilo), Turkka Mastomäki (Kiukku), Pamela Tola (Inho), Kari Ketonen (Pelko), Tiina Weckström (Suru), Seera Alexander (Riley Anderson, 11-vuotias tyttö), Rebecca Viitala (Rileyn äiti), Arttu Wiskari (Rileyn isä), Peik Stenberg (Bing Bong).
Released in Finland in 3D in the original and Finnish spoken versions by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Finland, premiere 28 Aug 2015
2K DCP in 3D, Finnish spoken version viewed at Plevna 1, Tampere, 12 Sep 2015
Inside Out is one of the most ambitious and inventive animations ever made. It is an experimental film daringly produced for mainstream distribution. It brings to mind the playful tradition of Len Lye and Norman McLaren, the abstract trend in the Disney team in the 1940s and the 1950s, and the UPA school, itself inspired by the Disney avantgardists.
How to project the inner world of the psyche? Sigmund Freud found "a plastic presentation of our abstractions" impossible and objected to the project that resulted in Geheimnisse einer Seele / Secrets of a Soul directed by G. W. Pabst with haunting dream visions.
Simultaneously in Russia Vsevolod Pudovkin debuted as a feature film director with Mekhanika golovnogo mozga / Механика головного мозга / Mechanics of the Brain, a showcase for the classical conditioned reflex theory of Dr. Ivan Pavlov. In Pudovkin's Kulturfilm we see the legendary Pavlovian dogs in action.
Inside Out is turbulent animated drama inside the mind world of the 11-year-old girl Riley whose family moves from happy Minnesota to the big city of San Francisco. Her emotions do battle as animated characters, and elements and dimensions of the psyche appear as animated locations (headquarters, long term memory, imagination land, subconscious, island of personality). There are witty inventions about phenomena such as "abstract thinking" "a train of thought", and "memory dump".
The external world is rendered in more natural colours; the inner world in brighter caricature.
I consider Pixar one of the key creative phenomena in the cinema of the last 20 years, and I find John Lasseter and his team geniuses. The Pixar spirit has become as wonderful as was the Disney spirit during their golden age. Many of the Pixar films have been the best or among the best of their release years.
A few years ago, when Brave was made, I started to fail to be as enthusiastic as I had been before about Pixar. The films were not weaker but I felt I had already seen them. The same thing about the entire mighty stream of digital animation. It was now commercially the golden age of world animation: never before had so many feature animations hit the global screens annually. I overdosed.
I know I need to see Inside Out again but fail to be as deeply impressed as the world's critics. After seeing so many animations during the last decades I have my reservations about the hectic pace, the sometimes overused mannerisms, and the easy caricature about psychic processes slanted a bit towards the mechanistic and behavioristic Pavlov-Skinner approach.
I have admired digital animation since the early Pixar shorts (Tin Toy, Knick Knack... ) and have been an avid follower of the digital animated feature since Toy Story. Digital animation can be excellent with figures such as toys, cars, and superheroes. It has its limitations in human, natural, and organic forms; somehow drawn / watercoloured / painted /sculpted images catch life better than digital. A hybrid of traditional and digital methods may be the future.
The digital colour world is not (yet) as rich as the traditional one. It keeps changing and developing but often feels synthetic.
The digital 3D presentation of Inside Out was perfect, the image brightness wonderful.
Warmly recommended: Pixar's remarkable Inside Out pressbook introduction copied in a previous blog article.