Inside Out is Pixar’s latest creation and a worthy entry to a studio that has had very few duds. The film tells the story of Riley and all of the emotions that she (we all have) sounding off in her head as she grows from a baby to a teenager. It deals with Riley as her family relocates to a different city and all of the loneliness of making new friends as well as her growing from a little girl to a young lady. Most of the film, however, focuses on Riley and her family as they relocate to San Francisco. She puts on a happy face, but inside she is rather sad at the idea of starting over in a new city. Her emotions Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) are all jockeying for position, although Joy and Sadness get most of the screen time. Inside Out is a rather enjoyable film on the basis of these same emotions, but I give it credit for being something more. It is a film about isolation; isolation and loneliness as we grow from a child to a young adult. It does it with maturity, understanding and is smartly written. The voice over work is extremely well cast and the animation is spectacular. The film is vibrant, alive and bursting with the energy of a young adult. Be prepared, though. Like Riley Inside Out runs the range of emotions and there are some very sad scenes that might be upsetting for younger children. Having said that, Inside Out, overall is a funny and observant film and fun family entertainment.
The Peanuts Movie marks the return of America’s favorite “loser” Charlie Brown and his gang. It has been a long time since we have had a new Peanuts film in theaters. Relegated mostly to television specials, Peanuts ended its newspaper comic strip run in 2000 by creator Charles Schulz who could no longer keep up with the demands of being printed. Schulz died in 2000 shortly after he retired the print edition. He apparently knew his time was short, even though he died at 77, which is not all that old by today’s standards. The Peanuts Movie has been completely written and produced by Charles’s sons, Bryan and Craig as well as Cornelius Uliano with Steve Martino directing and they completely nail the charm and innocent humor that has made the Peanuts so durable. The Peanuts Movie, like Inside Out, deals with some very real emotions that children have, but without some of the painful sadness Inside Out has. This Peanuts film is a wonderful family film that incorporates a positive message at the end of the film that will bring tears to your eyes. Whether you are new to the Peanuts gang or a a die hard fan, The Peanuts Movie is a refreshingly wholesome and funny film that does span the emotions but offers plenty of Snoopy, Woodstock, the Red Baron and all of the greatness that we have come to expect from a Peanuts film. It does not stretch to any new areas, but it does not need to. This film knows exactly what it wants to accomplish and it does it well. This is another perfect family film along with Inside Out.
Inside Out-**** out of 5
The Peanuts Movie-**** out of 5
Both of these animated features are now available on DVD and On Demand