Inside Out (PG)

In a word (or two): Top shelf

AN EMOTIONAL MOMENT:Sadness, Fear, Anger, Disgust, Joy. PICTURE: © 2015 Disney•Pixar.

"Pixar has a history of producing films which pull at the heart-strings - Finding Nemo, Toy Story and Up among them - and Inside Out can proudly take its place among them. Amid the plethora of rehashed storylines and characters (and not just in the world of animated films), it's a breath of fresh air."

Ranked up with the best that Pixar have produced, Inside Out is an insightful, fun and warm-hearted film that will delight kids and adults alike.

Co-written and co-directed by Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen, the story largely unfolds inside the mind of 11-year-old Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) where we meet the five emotions that govern her responses to life - Joy (voiced in typically upbeat fashion by Pawnee's former councilwoman, Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith of The Office), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling of TV show Mindy fame).

Life for Riley has been a series of poignant moments - which produce a series of key "core memories" instrumental to making her the person she is - until, that is, her parents make the move from their home in Minnesota to San Francisco.

Joy, who has hitherto been pretty much running the show, struggles as Sadness starts tinkering with past memories and before you know it things have gone very wrong - the move (and subsequent events in the real world) means Riley's foundational core memories are in danger of being irrevocably altered and Joy and Sadness find themselves lost outside of headquarters in the endless recesses of long term memory, watching in impotent dismay as Riley's identity gets a makeover and her floating "islands of personality" crumble away.

Joy and Sadness have to make the long journey back to headquarters and it's along the way that they meet some old memories of Riley, including Bing Bong (voiced by theatre and film stalwart Richard Kind), once an imaginary friend of her's who has been pretty much forgotten, but whose charm now lights up the screen.

There's some terrific depiction of psychological theory here - venturing into the realm of the abstract thought is a personal favorite - but that doesn't take anything away from this film's appeal to kids. Visually and plotwise, this is good fun.

Pixar has a history of producing films which pull at the heart-strings - Finding Nemo, Toy Story and Up among them - and Inside Out can proudly take its place among them. Amid the plethora of rehashed storylines and characters (and not just in the world of animated films), it's a breath of fresh air.