Inside Out (Blu-ray Review)

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: Feb 04, 2016
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Inside Out (Blu-ray Review)


Pete Docter

Release Date(s)

2015 (November 3, 2015)


Disney/Pixar (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
  • Film/Program Grade: A
  • Video Grade: A+
  • Audio Grade: A+
  • Extras Grade: A

Inside Out (Blu-ray Disc)



Inside Out was Disney’s and Pixar’s animated darling of 2015. It didn’t have quite the impact that Frozen did, but it was a hit nonetheless, particularly with adults more so than children. The movie puts forward the notion that a person’s emotions are personified through tiny sprites in our brains, namely five of them: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger. They guide their host, in this case a young girl named Riley, with Joy constantly jockeying for lead position. However, Joy is inadvertently sent on a journey after her and Sadness are thrown out of the main control room and made to explore the rest of Riley’s brain while the other emotions are in a constant state of panic, trying to get some kind of control over Riley before it’s too late.

Director Pete Docter, who has also directed two other Pixar projects Up and Monsters, Inc., came up with the seed of an idea for the film after he took an interest in his daughter’s changes throughout her childhood. The final product wound up being very different from the initial jumping off point, with the filmmakers even consulting psychologists about human emotions to refine the script and tell the story as honestly as possible. And after refining the style and settings for the film, it made for a highly-relatable story.

And as always with Pixar, the voice talent behind the characters is top of the line, including Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Richard Kind, Diane Lane, Kyle Maclachlan, Mindy Kaling, and new to the voice acting world, Phyllis Smith. Everyone delivers top performances, but Poehler, Kind, and Smith seem to steal the entire show whenever they’re on screen. The score for the film is also quite wonderful. Composer Michael Giacchino’s music is at times ethereal but also full of whimsy. It seems quite unique for an animated film and helps to guide its audience through Riley’s emotional journey, as well as her emotions’ journey.

Inside Out has already won several awards, including a Golden Globe for best animated film and is sure to win the Oscar in the same category. Although I enjoyed the Shaun the Sheep Movie more this year and felt that it was criminally overlooked by much of the movie-going public, Inside Out is still a very well-made and touching movie. Pixar movies usually are, but the team behind this one seemed to be going after something more universal, which I can see translating into many different languages with almost no barriers.

There’s not much one can say about the A/V presentation of this Blu-ray release. It’s absolutely reference quality in every category, including fine detail, depth, color, black levels, shadow detail, brightness, and contrast. There’s also no artificial sharpening or any artifacts, digital or otherwise, on display. The same can be said of the audio, which comes in several options, including English 7.1, 5.1, 2.0 DTS-HD; English 2.0 Descriptive Audio; and French & Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital. The 7.1 and 5.1 presentations are very aggressive when it comes to surround activity and immersion, with crystal clear dialogue, both booming and ambient sound effects, and a very strong score. Spatial activity is all over the place with lots of low frequency activity and superb fidelity. It’s just a perfect presentation from top to bottom. There are also subtitles in English, English SDH, French, and Spanish for those who might need them, as well as a TV maximizer option.

As for extras, this release has you covered. Starting things off on the first disc is an audio commentary with director Pete Docter and co-director Ronnie Del Carmen; the animated short films Lava, which was in front of the movie theatrically, and the newly-created Riley’s First Date?; the Paths to Pixar: The Women of Inside Out and Mixed Emotions featurettes; and a set of sneak peeks. On the second disc are several Behind the Scenes featurettes (Story of the StoryMapping the MindOur Dad, the FilmmakersInto the Unknown: The Sound of Inside OutThe Misunderstood Art of Animation Film EditingMind Candy), all with multiple subtitle options; 5 deleted scenes; and 3 theatrical trailers. In addition to all of that is a DVD copy of the movie, as well as a paper insert with a Digital HD code. And if you’re looking to pick up the Blu-ray 3D version of the movie, you can find it here. Keep in mind that both releases carry the same content.

Disney and Pixar created a beautiful and moving film with Inside Out, which seemed to pry them out of a sense of creative monotony (at least as noted by critics). They had been a little reliant on sequels and short of newer ideas, and Inside Out certainly qualifies as something fresh and interesting, if nothing else. Disney’s Blu-ray release of the film is certain to please both families and fans alike with a top-notch presentation and extras, making it one of Disney’s most satisfying animated Blu-ray releases in quite some time. Highly recommended.

- Tim Salmons