DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
This film's heart is so huge it is simply overwhelming.
Whenever I watch a film that has gotten the amount of praise Inside Out has gotten, my knee jerk reaction is to keep it at a distance so the hype/expectations won't get in the way too much. Inside Out simply won't let you do that. From the opening sequence and monologue it grabs a firm hold and just won't let go.
When I heard of the premise of Pixar's latest film I wasn't sold and when I saw the trailer I just couldn't see it work. It felt like a gimmicky thing that wouldn't work as a feature film.
Boy was I wrong.
The beautiful script balances the laughs and the cries brilliantly and deftly dances around the saccharine pitfalls of shallow emotions and cheap kitchen sink wisdoms. Instead it gives us a genuine and heartfelt look into the mind of a kid on that fragile border between being a kid and entering puberty. It gives voice and substance to the inner workings of our minds and does so with refreshing simplicity and flourishes of inspired creativity.
Whenever a film wants to put forth a message I can get annoyed as I don't feel that is the purpose of any form of art. Allowing us to explore and find meaning, sure, but bluntly stating what we should take away from it usually doesn't sit well with me, even when something could be considered a movie for kids. My fear was that this sentiment would prevail while watching Inside Out as its message is crystal clear. Confronted with that big heart that wants to tell a simple, yet effective, story with a genuinely sincere core concern and respect for its audience, those fears melt away like snow before the sun. Instead of moralizing, it provides a possible solution, a means to understand universal concerns of the target audience and bittersweet recognition for the adults that tagged along.
Inside Out is a phenomenal film that uses the potential of the medium to its fullest effect finding genuine emotion in the sincere treatment of its subject matter. Many filmmakers can learn a thing or two from what Inside Out achieves here.