Unpopular opinion: 'Inside Out' is not a great kids' movie.

Spoiler alert. If you don’t want to know too much about Inside Out before you see it. Don’t read past here.

Inside Out is one of the movies currently screening during these school holidays and based on the kooky upbeat trailer and it’s PG rating, is aimed fair and square at kids. So I took four of my five to see it yesterday.

They are aged eight (twins) 11 and 12.

It’s a beautifully crafted animated film by Pixar, who have made wonderful children’s movies (Toy Story, Up, Finding Nemo ).

Inside Out is about five emotions… Fear, Anger, Joy, Disgust, and Sadness which compete for control in the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley.

Anger, Disgust. Sadness and Fear.

The ’emotions’ performances are wonderful (Amy Poehler is an exuberant and uplifting Joy). They’re colorful and glittery and cute and hip.

It’s a poignant and wry and psychologically clever film.

And it’s sad.

I mean really sad.

Riley loses some emotions along the way which turns her into a withdrawn anxious pre-teen. She cries and pines for her past life. She snaps at her parents and friends. She steals from her mother and runs away.


Rile become anxious and withdrawn.

Conceptually I found the storyline quite challenging. Each emotion produces these ‘spheres’ and they get sucked into tubes and then stored in a long term memory room. Or something like that. I’m still a bit confused.

My 11 and 12-year-old boys had no trouble dealing with the themes and said they ‘liked’ the movie. The 8 year olds didn’t say much at all… which is telling. They’re usually bursting with recaps as we leave the cinema.

I was really curious as to how the film has been received by the critics. I’ve read over 30 reviews …all resoundingly positive…all nearly five stars.

‘Pixar’s most existential movie yet’.

‘…a chance for a moment of truth about loss, and grief, and even numbness.’

‘The film’s message is about psychological health. I imagine that quite a few psychology papers will be written about this movie.’

‘Inside Out deals maturely with depression and handles it in a complex and human manner.’

Glowing and accurate. If this was a film for grown ups.

But it’s not being marketed that way.

So just a heads up if you have little kids… Maybe Minions might be a better option?

For more on the world of movies, take a look at these:

The definitive list of movies that looked sh*t but were actually good.

11 movies you loved as a kid that you want to see remade. Today.

10 seemingly harmless movies that really messed you up as a kid.

A definitive ranking of the 12 greatest dance movies of all time.