ANIMATION; 1hr 42min
VOICES OF: Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black
Happy happy Joy Joy!
As the Pixar prodigies see it, intelligence is a jigsaw of immediate and pivotal core memories that shape our personalities and are operated 24/7 from within individual brainbox HQ’s by five gaudy, console-clicking sprites. In the case of 11-year-old Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias), chief HQ mover and shaker Joy (an apparently inexhaustible Poehler) is aided and abetted by emerald-green sneerer Disgust (Kaling), mauve panic merchant Fear (Hader), too-blue Sadness (Smith) and combustible crimson Anger (Black).
The team’s workaday balls are slotting into place just fine until Riley’s folks (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) move the family from Minnesota to no-fun San Francisco. Not helping, draggy Sadness then meddles with Riley’s core memories, whereupon Sadness and Joy are expelled to the far reaches of Riley’s mind. With Joy fighting to rescue her spirit, an oblivious Riley is angry and disheartened.
As a hyperdriven, surrealistic breakdown of how and why we are who we are, co-directors Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen’s hallucinatory trip is infinitely more fun than a stuffy anatomy text. With its genius blending of visual fandango and old fashioned feeling, his trail-blazing mindscape rewrites the dated guidelines of every kiddie rule book.