Inside Out

INSIDE OUT, the new feature length animation from Disney and Pixar, is a hit with audiences and critics alike. It’s a wonderfully clever and wise animation about the emotions inside us all. But the film’s target audience is adults and kids over ten years old. Younger children might enjoy the film, but they won’t really understand much of what’s going on.

The main character is Riley, a happy eleven year old girl who struggles after her family moves to San Francisco from her childhood home in Minnesota. The girl’s conflicting emotions are presented as five characters who occupy a command center inside her head.

Joy: I’m Joy. This is Sadness. That’s Anger. That is Disgust. and that’s Fear. We’re Riley’s emotions…..C’mon. Group hug! You, too, Anger.

Anger: Don’t touch me.

The same five emotions are characters inside her parents, too, though they look and act just a little different.

Sadness (inside the mother): Signal the husband.

Anger (inside the father): Uh Oh! She’s looking at us. What did she say?

Fear: Sorry Sir. No one was listening.

Anger: Is it garbage night? Did we leave the toilet seat up? What is it, woman? What?

This clever concept never stops being entertaining.

Father: Riley if you don’t eat your dinner you won’t get dessert.

Anger: Wait did he just say we couldn’t have dessert?

Joy (voice over): That’s anger. He cares very deeply about things being fair.

Anger: So that’s how you wanna play it, old man? No dessert. Oh sure, we’ll eat our dinner. Right after you eat this! (Anger presses a couple of buttons on the

console and screams. As flames come out of his head, Riley throws a tantrum.)

Riley’s memories are stored in small colored balls.

Joy: But the really important ones are over here. I don’t wanna get too technical. But these are called core memories. Each one came from a super important time in Riley’s life. Like when she first scored a goal. It was so amazing. When Sadness touches a joyful memory, it turns blue which Joy tries to reverse only to be sucked into a deeper recess of Riley’s mind. Sadness is swept away with her.

Sadness: Wait, Joy, you could get lost in there.

Joy: Think positive.

Sadness: OK I’m positive you will get lost in there. That’s long term memory.

Without Joy and Sadness the three emotions left in the command center don’t know what to do to help Riley function in her new world. While Joy and Sadness discover they have to work together both to get back to headquarters and to help Riley adjust.

INSIDE OUT is not without flaws, but it’s mainly a playful, rather ingenious lesson in human psychology.

Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now.