The character's in INSIDE OUT that represent different emotions (Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, & Disgust) are cute and well personified in this Disney's Pixar film. The studio does indeed embark into newer territory for a kid's movie, telling a simple story of childhood challenges with all the complexities of adolescences. INSIDE OUT does a great job mapping out the interlacing characteristics of emotion, personality, & cerebral functions/memory. They go even further to masterfully balance that display with the dynamics of LIFE and the environment in which the main character, Riley, lives in — achieving a visualization that "life is delicate and complex. Each segment affects the others; each decision and experience rattles the pieces and can imperil the whole. [...] Riley is, in one sense, fighting a battle we know she will lose: the battle for Joy to rule all things forever. But in another sense, her destination — the moment at which the story is aching to arrive — is balance, even if it's a kind of balanced chaos" (Linda Holmes, WHY THE KEY CHARACTER IN 'INSIDE OUT' IS THE ONE WHO ISN'T THERE).
*On a side note (something perhaps NOT everyone may have picked up on is): INSIDE OUT, with all it's intricacy, also displays a navigation through gender identity and shows a normalcy for young children to exhibit both feminine & masculine characteristics growing up. The character's name, to start with (Riley) is gender neutral. However, the movie depicts Riley as a girl but whom also likes to play a prominently guy's sport of hockey. Riley's wardrobe reflects the same neutral disposition. We also see that the personified emotional characters are a 2:3 ratio — 2 male emotional characters (Anger & Fear) with 3 female emotional characters (Joy, Sadness, & Disgust). Whereas, the mother's emotional characters are all clearly depicted as female and the father's emotional characters are all clearly depicted as male. One could argue, Riley is the epitome of a progressive society toward gender equality, exploration & acceptance. But from a feminist point of view, the designation of gender-to-emotional characters-to-human characters (did you get that?) has a hegemonic masculinity overtone that stems from a domineering patriarchal society. All this to say (whether you agree or not), it's just another topic added to an already elaborate discussion about INSIDE OUT.
Phew!!! Now, is your brain ticking, twitching, itching and/or racing?! Well, I'll now wrap-up my review with... This movie packs in a lot within 1 hr 42 mins that can cause discussion among adult viewers to carry on for much longer—the film could even be used in adult education courses for students to write various papers from many points of views: psychology, science, child development, etc. With that said, this kid's movie may not really be one for all kid's to watch ...not because there's anything wrong w/it but rather they may loose focus to follow the storyline & end up confused about what it all means or what's going on ...just as the 2 yr old next to me in the theater blurted out to his mommy, "it's too long!" while only 10-15 minutes into the movie.
I'd recommend this for an audience of 4+ years old.
And my letter grade: A-