Overwatch Review -PS4

Overwatch is a brand new game series from Blizzard, the makers of World of Warcraft. It’s an online multiplayer shooter where teams of 6 characters with different abilities fight it out over control of the map. I was completely unaware of what type of game Overwatch was and to be honest I think it was getting it mixed up with a few other similarly titled multiplayer games all announced at the same time (I blame you Battleborn and Paragon). Once it was out though I couldn’t get away from the unanimous praise all over social media so I knew it had to be something special.


The main mode in Overwatch is the online multiplayer, there are a few different objectives you’ll be randomly given during matches but it usually boils down to one team attacking while the other is defending. While defending your job is to either stop the enemy from taking over an area on the map or to stop them from escorting a vehicle through the level. Now this by itself is nothing special, lot’s of games have these mode but it’s Overwatch’s amazing cast of characters that are really impressive. 

You get 21 characters to chose from which is a bit daunting at first but they do try and make this easier for you by separating them into different classes. Offensive heroes will be familiar to most people, they’re your standard guys and gals with guns who’s focus is on taking out the enemy. Defensive heroes are still pretty good at taking people out but also have tools like traps or gun turrets to help the team out. A tank hero’s job is to absorb damage and generally distract the enemy so the rest of your team can move on the objective. The last category are support heroes whose job it is to heal or shield their teammates and are usually invaluable to a team’s success. The game does tell you if your team composition is lacking something before you start so you do get a chance to put it right (although people rarely pay attention). 


Heroes Never Die

Here’s a quick overview of the characters pictured from left to right above:


Genji
Is a robot ninja who excels at running round the map and surprising the enemy from behind. He can throw ninja stars, dash through people with his sword and even deflect most attacks back at his opponent. He can also run up walls and double jump letting him get to anywhere on the map.

Junkrat
Is an explosive specialist who has a grenade launcher to bombard the enemy team and also has bear traps and remote mines he can use to protect objectives when defending. His special move is a giant explosive tire that you drive around which can be devastating if the whole enemy team is close together.

Roadhog
Looks like he just came from the set of Mad Max and uses a hook on a chain you can use to reel in smaller heros an finish them off with his shotgun. He’s great for pulling snipers down off their perch where they can’t do much and he can also heal himself so doesn’t rely on any healers.

Mei
Uses her ice gun to either freeze opponents or snipe them from a distance with icicles. Her signature ability is that she can create a wall of ice which can be used to block the enemy or help protect an area.

Zarya
She can create barriers around herself and others which absorb damage and also increase the power of her own weapon. For her special she can also create a gravity well which can trap enemies in place making them easy picking.

Pharah
Is a pure attack character, she soars through the sky with her jetpack raining rockets down on anyone out in the open. The trade off to this is that she can’t take a lot of hits if you get the drop on her.

Tracer
Is another character like Genji who is meant to ambush unaware opponents. She can run rings around some of the slower characters thanks to her small size and ability to teleport. She also has the ability to rewind time for herself in case you zip off a ledge by mistake or want to further confuse your opponents.

Widowmaker
Is your standard sniper character, she can use a grappling hook to get up to good vantage points other characters can’t reach. She also has a poison mine to surprise people who’re trying to sneak up on you and her special attack reveals the enemies positions to the whole team.

D.Va
Is a really strange and fun character to use, in her default form she pilots a giant robot suit that can deal big damage up close and fly around the map with rocket boosters. Her special move is to self destruct her suit which deals a huge amount of damage over a wide area but leaves you on foot with only a handgun to protect you.

Torbjörn
Does what dwarfs do best, build contraptions. He can build an upgradable turret that will auto target enemies, this can be devastating if set up in the right place. He can also give his team mates extra armor to increase their overall health.

Reaper
With his double shotguns Reaper is an up close and personal character. He can teleport around the map to set up ambushes and if he finishes off an opponent he can collect a small amount of health to keep him going. His special is a barrage of shotgun blasts that is best used up you can warp into the middle of a group.

Mercy
The most straightforward healer in the game she has a beam that locks onto the nearest ally that refills their health. When playing her it’s best to hang back with the group so they can protect you if it gets rough. She can also boost the damage of an ally and her special can resurrect your fallen teammates.

Zenyatta
Another healer who doesn’t heal as much as Mercy but he can also weaken a single enemy at a time making them an easy kill. He also does a surprising amount of damage by himself but he’s not very durable and pretty slow moving.

Hanzo
Is another sniper type character who uses a bow and arrow to pick off his enemies. Like Genji he can also climb walls to find a good vantage point and is overall more stealthy than Widowmaker. The thing that sets Hanzo apart is his special move where he shoots a huge dragon out in front of him which pretty much kills everything in it’s path.

Reinhardt
A huge knight in a robo suit of armour who is an asset to any team. His big thing is he can generate a shield in front of himself which will block a lot of damage plus your teammates can shoot through it from behind. If he has to fight for himself he can rocket towards an enemy and pin them to a wall so they can be finished of with a swing of his giant hammer.

Winston
The super intelligent Gorilla who is one of the best characters for distracting the enemy. He has a jet powered jump which he can use to get in the middle of a group and make a general nuisance of himself. His special move Primal Rage refills your health and gives you new attacks that can knock enemies all over the place for a few seconds.

Symmetra
Is pretty unique as far as the support characters go, instead of healing she can put up shield on her allies. Her main use is to defend areas as she can place laser turrets on the floor or walls which slow enemies down and eventually drain their health is they don’t react in time. Her special is to create a teleporter so your team doesn’t have run as far from the respawn point.

Soldier 76
This guy is probably the easiest character to use. He’s your standard assault guy who has a laser rifle with grenade attachment. He can also heal himself and allies with his bubble shield making him even more beginner friendly.

Bastion
Is probably one of the most satisfying characters to play on defence. He’s basically a transformer who can bunker down and transform into a machine gun emplacement which does a lot of damage but can’t move around to dodge attacks. If you set up in the right spot you can stop an entire enemy team single handedly.

Lúcio
This guy attacks and heals people with the power of sound. This means that just by standing next to Lúcio you will be getting constant healing. He can use his sound gun to blast opponents away (or into pits if you’re lucky) so you can get away and hide behind more capable teammates. He can also switch from healing to a speed boost which is good for getting back into the action after a respawn.

McCree
Is a classic cowboy with a 6-shooter. He’s a good mid-range fighter as long as you’re accurate enough. If anyone gets close he has a flashbang he can use to stun enemies giving him a chance to unload and his special move lets him shoot everyone in his line of sight as long as they stay there long enough for you to lock on.

There’s No ‘I’ in Team

Overwatch is a really fun game, as I mentioned it can seem a bit intimidating at first because you’re going into a team game where other people are relying on you but the game will try and match you up with other beginner players. One of the more charming aspects of the game is the personality the characters have. They all have signature lines they spout whenever you activate you special attack or respawn after a defeat. One awesome thing I noticed is that sometimes at the start of a match while you’re all running to set up your defences the characters will chat to each other as you go. They also have plenty of unlockable outfits and colour swaps for the characters that you can get randomly out of loot boxes. You get a loot box containing 4 random cosmetic items each time you level up (or if you pay real cash) but the good stuff like costumes seem to appear very rarely.

The menus are really easy to navigate, you can be searching for a match with about 3 presses of the ‘X’ button but it also has plenty of in depth options if that’s something you want. I was particularly impressed by the amount of options it has for colorblind players like me. Since enemies and objectives are indicated by colour I was able to adjust the hue of these so I could tell the difference between the red and orange. There were many more colour options to chose from, if you want to change these colours completely depending on your needs. It’s nice to see a game be this colourblind friendly.

With the game’s main mode being online only this isn’t a game I could recommend to anyone who doesn’t have their PS4 connected online with PS+ because you’ll just be able to play matches against computer opponents. I don’t think that’s something you could play for a long time before getting bored.

This is the first online shooter I’ve gotten into since like 2010 for COD: Black Ops, I just felt like I couldn’t keep up with the kids who did nothing but play all day and I’d usually just die over and over. The great thing about Overwatch is that if you’re not very good at shooting dudes you can play a support or tank class instead. Having a Mercy keeping the team healthy or a Reinhardt shielding everyone can really change the tide of battle. I found myself gravitating towards Mercy if no one else is playing her, I’ve never played a healer in games before but I’ve been loving it. There’s no pressure to be killing other players but it’s still exciting trying to keep everyone alive. Plus watching your team’s health bars fill up is oddly satisfying. There is also no penalty for losing so if your team is defeated there’s no need to dwell, just try harder next time.

I genuinely think that as long as you are at least competent with first person games you could have some fun with Overwatch. Blizzard have made this game user friendly and as simple possible to play but there is still plenty of depth and advanced strategies for those who want to seek it out. I’ve loved every minute of this game so far (even being on the losing team) and honestly I can’t wait to go play some more.

★★★★★

Advertisements

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr (Book Review)

All the Light We Cannot See was recommended to me by a friend, now said friend has always given me great book recommendations and up until this book, the books he’s told me to read have been 5/5 stars. This was the first book that didn’t follow that trend.download (3)

When I was told about All the Light We Cannot See, I was told it’s set during WWII and follows a blind girl who lives in Paris and whose father works at the Museum of Natural History. So fat it had all the makings of my perfect book so I checked out Goodreads. On there I found constant five star reviews, in fact I struggled to find anything less so I downloaded it to my Kindle and started to read.

Now I’ll say that I didn’t hate the book, in fact it was enjoyable but I just didn’t love it. The story follows two main characters, Marie-Laure, a blind girl who is brought up in Paris by her father. She spends most of her days curled up behind his desk, in the Museum of Natural History, reading a book or asking questions about the displays. Our second protagonist is Werner, a blonde haired, blue eyed orphan brought up in a mining town in Germany. When the war starts both Marie-Laure and Werner’s lives change forever.

The story itself was clever, I loved the fact that small things in the beginning of the book became big connections by the end and I loved how everything intertwined. My main issue is that I sometimes found it boring. The story focused on our two main protagonists and with that we found out a lot about their childhoods and how what they loved developed who they became. I liked this in theory but in practise I found the constant references to radios and snails, a little boring.

I did love some of the characters; in the beginning I loved Marie-Laure. Losing her sight didn’t make her wallow; instead it made her determined and strong. I loved her when she was a child and how she learned to live with her loss of sight and remain happy. As the book progressed I learned that Werner was my favourite. I was amazed by how he grew as a character and slowly learned how to become a better person.

The supporting characters were also well written, Marie-Laure’s uncle Etienne was by far my favourite, his fear to leave the house since the war and his love for Marie-Laure was heart-warming to me. On top of this, Von Rumple was a great villain while Frau Elena and Jutta gave the book a realistic a homely feel.

This all sounds great, right? So why didn’t I love it? Well in the end I didn’t care about any of the characters outcomes except for perhaps Etienne. While reading I loved each character and wanted the best for them but by the end I felt like I’d learned all there was to learn and if everyone had of died, I don’t think I would have cared.

I also found the writing style hard to follow at times, I had previously read A Court of Mist and Fury with a really easy to follow writing style then I went on to this. I found the style pretentious at times and for the first ten chapters I hated the book. In the beginning I felt like the book was written for the sole purpose of winning an award (which it did – the Pulitzer Prize) without any thought towards having an enjoyable story. As I continued this feeling did subside and I realised the story was well written and was enjoyable but I never quite got over the pretentious style of writing.

For anyone thinking of reading this, I would certainly say to go ahead and try it. After all as I said, I didn’t hate the book, I simply found it hard at times and thought it nothing more than an OK book but the end but I do know a number of people who have rated it five stars and loved every second of reading. So definitely try it – you never know, you may end up loving it way more than I did.

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Top 5 Animated Movie Villains

We all love a good hero, but they cannot exist without a great villain to hate.Without  a villain a hero is just some jerk beating people up over nothing. So, we have villains to fight against and to teach us that greed and being evil is bad.

Although I firmly believe that not all animation is for kids, for the purpose of this list I have decided to concentrate of kids’ animation, so I can hark back to all those times I pooped my pants in the living room watching a movie (sorry Mum, you washed those knickers like a pro!)

I’ll warn you now, there are spoilers contained within!

5) Ursula – The Little Mermaid

UrsulaTheLittleMermaidShe was probably the first real villain that I ever encountered as a little whippersnapper. The Little Mermaid was my first ever VHS and I watched it all the time.

Ursula just looks evil from the start. As soon as Ariel drops on by to sell her voice and change her species so Prince Eric will fall in love with her (seriously though ladies, don’t change who are just for some man, Prince of not) we can sense Ursula’s evility. She’s all in black, she’s got some kind of weird thing going on with her hair, she has, quite frankly an amazing bosom. She lives in a sea cave thing full of withered twiglet looking things with eyes. Have you heard her laugh? It’s the most typical evil laugh you’ve ever heard!

I have to admit I don’t really remember being scared of Ursula, but I do remember being mesmerised by her and the way she used to slither about with her wayward tentacles. Even when watching it as an adult the grand finale with the gazillion foot tall Ursula is pretty disturbing, especially when she laughs as though she’s a vinyl recording of a creeping seaside laughing man played at the slowest possible speed.

4) Dr Facilier – The Princess and the Frog

dr facilierYou could be forgiven for not having a clue who Dr Facilier is, even if you’ve seen The Princess and the Frog. No one calls him by his name in the movie.

This guy is so scary the townspeople of New Orleans don’t even use his name, either that or they don’t think he’s interesting enough to bother learning his name. They refer to him as The Shadow Man or sometimes The Voodoo Man.

Dr Facilier uses his shadow friends from ‘the other side’ to hatch a plan to take over the whole of New Orleans to… Harvest their souls, or something.

This guy is both awesome and a total scumbag in equal measures. He has one of the most impressive musical sequences in modern Disney memory with the Friends on the Other Side song, where he makes himself look like a total badass with all the magic he needs right at his fingertips. He’s whispering green stuff here and there, he even appears to turn into a sugar skull at one point

He put on this big show so everyone knows how hard he is only to later on show himself to be a snivelling snot weasel worse than that kids in school who hung out with the bullies, but only had the guts to agree with what the head bully had to say.

 

3) Judge Doom – Who Framed Roger Rabbit

judge doomYou remember this guy, he broke your heart when he dissolved the squeaky shoe in that green goopy stuff. Never have I had such emotional attachment to a bright yellow and red clown shoe. *wipes a single tear from eye*

This guy was creepy as hell. As the human Mayor of ToonTown he reigns with fear thanks to his disgust for Toons and their whimsical nature. With a cool and collected demeanor He delights in torturing any Toon that dares to break any of his stringent rules with ‘The Dip’ (the aforementioned green goopy stuff).

judge doom toonHowever, after getting steam rollered during the finale, he reveals himself to be Toon, the very thing he hates the most. As a Toon he switches from the cold and calculated psychopath type to more of a maniac killer profile. He starts spouting daggers from his eyes, he develops springs in his feet. Most disconcerting of all his voice ascends to a shrill squeak as he admits to the murder of Bob Hoskins’ brother.

Whichever Judge Doom you get, Human or Toon, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

 

4) The Raptors in the Kitchen – Jurassic Park

raptorsI know what you’re thinking, they don’t count, they were interacting with live actors, in a live action setting. They were designed to look as realistic as possible. Technically, they were animated, so they totally count.

 

You’ve got to be careful who you say raptors in the kitchen to. If they’re in their late 20s you might just trigger a latent case of PTSD. Those demon dinos struck fear into children of all ages in the early 90s and most have still never gotten over the ordeal.

Unlike the onslaught of might and power from the T-Rex, the raptors are sneaky and were willing to play the softly softly catchy monkey game, they even learnt how to open doors to get at their prey. Doors! I bet a T-Rex couldn’t do that with it’s comically small arms.  

The great camera work from Spielberg really puts you in the action. It makes you feel like you are in the kitchen with those two annoying twerps trying to avoid not only a violent and wild creature, but a clever one. Giving thousands of children nightmares for years to come in the process.

 

1) The Other Mother – Coraline


other mother goodThe Other Mother, for me, is one of the creepiest little mo’fo’s out there. The others on this list have been evil from the start, their intentions were clear. You knew Ursula and Dr Facilier were not really concerned with helping poor unfortunate souls. You knew dinosaurs were only out to eat what they can.

The Other Mother though, although she might look a little weird with those button eyes, she starts out as being the ever loving matriarch. She provides Coraline with a caring environment filled with all the delights her heart desires including delicious food, a colourful garden and attentive parenting.

One day The Other Mother offers Coraline the chance to stay in the alternative realm forever on the condition Coraline sews buttons onto her eyes. Coraline senses something is afoot and declines, angering the other mother and revealing her true colours.

the other motherGradually The Other Mother morphs into her real form and the magical house reveals itself to be a prison for the ghosts of other children who were more willing to have buttons sewn onto their eyes.

Why is The Other Mother the worst? She pretends to love you, she lures you in with delights and kindness only to pull the rug from under you as she delights in stealing your life essence. Always beware of something that seems too good to be true.

If you can think of any other great animated villains, from a kids movie or not, leave a comment.

 

 

Why You Should Be Watching Supergirl

When I first heard there was a Supergirl TV show in the works I was skeptical. Supergirl has never really held her own as a solo comic book character. Her comic series tend to get cancelled quite a lot but she’s a popular character when she shows up in ensemble books so it’s surprising they took a risk on a high budget solo series for her. I’m really glad they did though because it’s one of my favourite TV shows on right now and here are some reasons you should be watching too.


They’ve Started Their Own Continuity

In the show Kara Zor-El is the cousin of Superman who was sent to watch over him on earth when he was a baby. However, something went wrong and she was lost in time for a while meaning when she arrived Clark had been there for 20+ years and he didn’t need her protection anymore. Her comic origin is a much more ridiculous and complicated story involving a shrunken city in a bottle (Yes really) so I can understand why they went with their own version. This leaves them free to develop their own universe without all the baggage Superman brings with him. He still exists in their world but they keep National City pretty separate from Metropolis. They have also inserted Supergirl into some classic Superman storylines and situations. Surprisingly they’ve picked a lot of the more “out there” stories and characters to deal with in their first season. The greater DC universe is filled with aliens but this is the first live action thing to even mention them outside of Kryptonians. 

It Respects The Source Material 

Now this is not to be confused with being overly serious about your story like Batman Begins or Man of Steel. In my opinion trying to make everything gritty and down to earth loses the very thing that makes comics so great. They’re fantastical, you routinely see things that could never happen in the real world. For some reason TV and movie execs used to think people weren’t ready to accept the wonderfully stupid world of comics. Thanks to shows like Supergirl, Flash, Arrow and the Marvel movies they’re starting to realise that there are literally decades of amazing storylines just waiting to be adapted. 

Supergirl embraces it’s silly history, it’s not afraid to put bad guys and heroes in their actual costumes with their original origins. They’ve done what many people have tried and failed to do (looking at you Zack Snyder) over the years and made Superman’s villains interesting in live action form. It’s been a complete breath of fresh air not having them rehash the same old Lex Luthor crap every other Superman movie and show seems obsessed with. Supergirl has been working her way through an interesting mix of costumed aliens, robots and meta-humans. She’s teamed up with the Martian Manhunter, had her DNA stolen to create a Bizarro Supergirl and even wrestled with a mind controlling alien plant in an awesome re imagining of the “For The Man Who Has Everything” comic storyline. These are all the types of things comic fans have wanted to see Superman do for years but no one’s had the guts to do it outside of cartoons.

It’s Full of Positive Characters


One thing that immediately stands out about DC’s TV shows is that the main character is always surrounded by an incredibly supportive group. They really emphasize the value of friendship and working together. I think it’s important for younger fans to have these kind of positive heroes as role models. Too many young DC fans are going to grow up having only watched the misguided movies from Zack Snyder and thinking that these worst versions of DC Superheroes are the norm.

Supergirl is also one of the few powered female superheroes we have on film right now. She flies around going toe to toe with super powered aliens, regularly saves her male friends from danger and they don’t make a big deal out of it. James Olsen doesn’t sulk because he’s been emasculated or make a joke about being saved by a girl, he thanks her for her help and they go on being friends. She also has a much less overtly sexualised costume compared to her comic counterpart, her friend Winn makes her a less practical outfit in the first episode but Kara promptly rejects it.

It’s About To Become Part of a Bigger Universe 

They recently aired an episode where The Flash made a cameo appearance on Supergirl because the parent company CBS owns them both. The set up for the episode was that Flash accidently creates an interdimensional portal and ends up stranded on Supergirl’s Earth. This was such a good reward for long term fans of both series. Seeing Flash and Supergirl excitedly geeking out about each other’s universe had me grinning ear to ear the whole time and it’s actually the thing that inspired me to write this post. That’s what fans want to see when superheroes meet up, we want them to be friends and to help each other. Not try to murder each other (Looking at you again Snyder). 

We didn’t know at the time this episode was announced but it was actually the start of something bigger. Season 2 of Supergirl is moving channels in the US and will be joining The Flash and Arrow on The CW channel. This will mean that they’re free to cross them over whenever they want. If there’s anything comic fans love it’s a good crossover and I’m so excited to see what happens when the three tv shows are finally allowed to meet up. 

Why Inside Out Should Have Been Nominated for the Best Picture Oscar

Every year the best of the best and glitteriest of the glittery follow their natural homing instincts and gather for the annual Academy Awards ceremony.

oscarThe Academy has long been considered the most prestigious award one can get for making a great movie. Some chase after Oscars for years, desperately starring in anything that they think will get them the coveted gold covered statuette of a naked man.

Some will chase to boost ticket and DVD sales. Some like the respect winning can get you. Others probably enjoy the higher wages one can demand when you’re a big star.

 

One of the most sought after awards is that of the Best Picture, just a nomination can boost sales by up to 60%.

Despite this, The Best Picture Oscar has been very hit and miss over the years, and has often overlooked some amazing films in favour of something that might be a little more mainstream.

carl upAnimation in particular has had to fight to be recognised in it’s own right. The Best Animated Feature award was only introduced in  2001, and animated films have only been nominated for Best Picture three times (Beauty and the Beast in 1992, Up! In 2009 and Toy Story in 2010).

At one point Inside Out was tipped to join the other three and get a nomination for Best Picture. Unfortunately it missed out.

I have only seen two and a half of the Best Picture nominated films, so I’m not going to tell you why they shouldn’t have been nominated, but instead this is an argument as to why Inside Out should have received a nomination.

I’m pretty sure it’s been mentioned before that I love Disney Pixar. Their beloved characters, involving stories and innovative animation techniques make them some of the very best kids movies around.

inside-out-1024x640I think it is this mind set that has often made it difficult for animated films to be taken seriously by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (we’ll call it The Academy for short), they’re often seen as ‘for kids’. For some reason entertainment that is aimed at children is seen a being of a lesser quality, a lesser art form as that for adults.

It’s this perception that really needs to go. Yes it is true that a lot of drivel is pumped out at an exponential rate aimed at capturing children’s attention, and (more importantly, to the makers) their parent’s money. This does not mean that every TV show, book, or movie that is aimed at children is somehow inferior to adult entertainment. This is even before I start on the argument that not all animation is for children and is an art form in it’s own right. 

Inside Out is an exploration of emotions, what they truly mean and how they interact with each other. Emotions are not something that only children experience, they are a universal human experience. So I find it somewhat unfair that The Academy could have perhaps snubbed it for being animated and aimed at children, as it is a very solid piece of cinema that has a lesson we can all learn from.

rileyThe story is about an 11 year old girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), who, along with her family, moves from Minnesota to San Francisco in California. Though initially she seems excited about the new house and a new start. When the new house is a bit of a let down, still no moving truck and her father keeps having heated telephone discussions about his business the dream turns sour.

As she struggles to keep herself together she tries not to let her parents know that she is finding it difficult to adjust and keeps on smiling and not talking about her feelings.

Inside her head we can see those emotions as they all tussle to be in charge on the console. As Joy (a wonderfully chirpy Amy Poehler) struggles to keep Sadness (a wonderfully morose Phyllis smith) at bay. When Sadness keeps making all of Riley’s happy memories sad Joy tries to prise them away from her, in the tussle they both end up getting sucked through a memory recall tube and get lost in the Long Term Memory. Leaving Anger (Lewis Smith), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Fear (Bill Hader) in charge of keeping Riley happy and Joy and Sadness desperately trying to find their way back to help Riley.

 

INSIDE OUT

On the journey home Joy constantly tries to keep everything light and jovial, even when getting back to head quarters seems hopeless, she tries to remain upbeat in the face of adversity. With the help of her companion she has to learn that it’s OK to feel sad when you need to, and to talk to the people you love and trust about being sad, and it is these simple actions that can get you the help you need to bring back the feeling of happiness.

There are also themes of moving on and being able to let go from the past as we can see from the imagination land area of Riley’s brain, which is going over a dramatic makeover from Riley the child to Riley the adult. As well with the character Bing Bong, Rileys’s imaginary friend from when she was little who no longer gets played with but still lingers in her long term memory in the hope that one day he will be remembered.

bing bongThe script is just lovely, for a film about the importance of sadness it’s a pretty funny film, as well as being deeply touching at times. Like the very best Pixar films it makes you cry at more than one point and makes you feel all of the emotions all at once. It manages this all whilst being accessible to everyone, from a young child to an elderly person.

Amy Poehler does a great job of bringing Joy to life, she’s like an animated version of Leslie Knope, her character from Park and Recreation. Though when Joy realises that Sadness was right all along Poehler is able to bring a humility to the performance.

With a solid script (It did get nominated for Best Script at the Oscars) stellar performances and a moving storyline Inside Out should have been in the running for Best Picture, but it missed out.

riley familyWe can’t say for certain why, the nominations are voted for by the members of The Academy, maybe it’s because most of the Academy members are old men, and they are perhaps less inclined to vote for a film about an 11 year old girl over a film about a newspaper investigating paedophilia within the church.

 

Maybe they just didn’t think it was worth it was because it was aimed at children.

Maybe it was simply because it was animated. Who knows?

What I do know, is that this a moving and delightful film for anyone of any age. It helps us all to look at our own emotions and how they can all play a part in making us who we are and contribute to making us happy (even sadness) and that it was deserving of at least a nomination of Best Picture.