Inside Out is Pixar’s newest animation film. It brings the mystery of our emotions to life.
Many will be drawn into the genius behind all of the animation, character development, and fascinating places in the human mind that Pixar takes us. But I was drawn in by the story— the story of our human emotions. An aspect of life that is real, deep, and often misunderstood.
The film starts with the birth of the main character Riley. At the onset of her life the deepest and most profound emotion is JOY. Having just experience the birth of my first grand-daughter I was swept into the reality of the joy that a baby is suppose to feel when they are born. They are created to receive and know joy . Pixar used Joy as the core emotion for Riley (I love that). Her life experiences were rooted in Joy which is a beautiful gift that we as parents can give to our children.
As life progresses we see other emotions enter the scene: Fear, Disgust, Anger, and Sadness. These emotions, which many see as negative, were displayed as a necessary part of life, each offering some kind of protection or benefit as long as Joy is present. All of them except Sadness, that is. Sadness just doesn’t seem to have a place and our heroine Joy doesn’t quiet know what to do with her. Sadness is misunderstood. Joy attempts to put Sadness in a box or hide her away because there seems to be no value in Sadness, only sadness.
However, when transition and turmoil hit the home of Riley, it is hard to keep the joy on. Panic hits the emotions as Sadness attempts to touch memories. As a result, Joy and Sadness are lost in the deep recesses of Riley’s memory, leaving Fear, Anger, and Disgust in charge.
As we journey through the depths of Riley’s mind with Joy and Sadness missing, we discover how our emotions rule us and those around us when Joy is not present. The journey we experience with our two heroines making their way back to the control center is one of adventure, imagination, humor, and danger. When Riley’s memories begin to deteriorate, we can begin to understand how trauma can affect a person without the proper family structure in place to aid in the journey.
The most incredible outcome in this movie, for those who will look deeper—is understanding the value of Sadness. When there is loss there is grief and we cannot just try to Joy it away. In order to find real joy, we have to walk through the sad emotions of the loss.
As Christians, we would be wise to pay attention to the lessons of this entertaining, captivating masterpiece. When we grieve with one another it brings healing and restoration. Then we can move beyond and begin to develop new places of Joy.
As parents we need to understand that normal life situations for us, are oftentimes traumatic for our children, who don’t have the emotional capacity to properly navigate through their emotions. Our children need to be given the freedom to feel all of their emotions, and come back to Joy.
As with many of Pixar’s films this is one filled with life lessons, while being fun and engaging.
You and your child will experience a full range of emotions as you find yourself being drawn into the fearful and wonderful way our emotions work together and the power of our memories.
The young viewers will enjoy the explosive characters and the fascinating journey. And…older children, teens, and adults will appreciate the story and its message.
Inside Out’s story and message are something every adult needs to apprehend. And the truths presented can offer some great dinnertime conversations.
I highly recommend this movie for people of all ages!
By Misty Honnold
Mother of 2 adult girls, 2 adult sons & 2 amazing NEW sons (married to daughters)
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Executive Director and Founder of The Single MOM KC
Hostess of Mocha Moments For The Single MO