Inside Out Review and What Did The Parent Inside Me Learn From It
Pixar’s back guys!
For the last few years I felt that Pixar’s losing its zing. I mean, we didn’t really need Cars 2 and Monsters University actually made me like less the original Monsters, Inc. And then I saw the trailer for Inside Out and I wondered what’s wrong with Pixar.
The problem was that Inside Out’s trailer was confusing. I couldn’t make out clearly what the film is about, the character Joy seemed too ‘joy’y and Anger seemed too angry. It was supposedly about what’s happening in the mind of a mother, a father and a daughter, but exactly what?
However still, we decided to watch the movie because of our loyalty to Pixar. And also because I and Mr B love going for movies and that’s the habit we are inculcating in our daughter Little B as well. We don’t take her to the typical Bollywood and Hollywood movies so animation movies is where she gets her fix from.
So to put it frankly, we went with no high expectations. We just wanted to chill and have a good family time.
Musical Short Lava
The movie started with Disney Pixar’s musical short Lava which was weird in some ways and in some ways was alright. I kept wondering whether it is scientifically possible for two volcanoes to keep going in and coming out of water. If Nepal earthquake can move Mount Everest more than an inch, so may be two volcanoes going here and there in the water is a conceivable idea. Whatever, you can tell I had not much interest in this short film. Except for the lyrics “I lava you.”
Not a great start, I guess.
Inside Out Review
Then started Inside Out. The entire movie was a typical Pixar fair and looked as amazing as their other films from their creative days of yore.
I was happy, curious and excited while watching the movie. I left the theatre and kept thinking about the movie all through that night. It has been days since I have seen it but I feel the movie is growing on me a little every day. That’s what a Pixar movie does to you. It gives you a fulfilling experience but still it leaves you with questions and things to wonder upon. And these questions make you see your own life with a different perspective. It gives your life a little extra boost and thus enriches it.
Yeah, that is what it was.
To tell you quick, Inside Out is the story of Riley, an 11-year-old girl. She was living happily with her family in Minnesota until the family moves to San Francisco. She keeps missing her old home and unfortunately nothing really works out for her the way she expected to.
The movie is based on the fact that we are driven by our mind which is in turn driven by these five emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger; and so is Riley. These emotions are given anthropomorphic representation in the movie. Though all these emotions work together, in Riley’s mind Joy is the leader of the pack. These emotions are connected with her memories. Riley’s memories from Minnesota that were giving her joy earlier are making her sad now. How do her memories and her emotions work together to help her survive is what the movie is about.
The movie is an entertaining lesson on psychoanalysis, and I loved it for that. However, I would say that this movie is for children above 10 years of age and not for younger kids like my daughter. Though Little B was hooked to the movie and kept laughing, I am not sure if she understood the premise well.
The movie’s core is about existential crisis faced by an 11-year-old girl. Story is relatable and storytelling is slick and tight. Peeking into the secret world of brain is the best. If you ever wonder what does our brain does with all the data it collects, watch the movie and you will understand.
Lessons for Parents From Inside Out
There are plenty of lessons that parents can pick up from the movie and ponder upon,
- Memories are really really important in shaping the child.
Of course, we already know that but still it cannot be said enough. Memories are really important and we parents cannot predict which memory will affect the child in which way. A simple experience of being made to stand out in the class and speak up can give a child a traumatic experience that she/he may never forget.
- Crucial memories of the childhood become the core memories that ultimately decide the personality of the child.
In the movie, Riley’s learning ice skating becomes her core memory and she falls in love with playing ice hockey, which in turn becomes part of her personality. Parents should expose their kids to a variety of experiences, some of which the kids can pick up and take forward in their life. Each new situation that the child will be in, a new part of her/his personality will bloom. Basically helping the child’s personality to be as much diverse as possible.
- Sadness is as vital as Joy
Through the course of the movie, Joy ultimately realizes that Riley needs Sadness in her life as much as she needs Joy; and every joyful experience Riley had in her life was because sadness was also around. A little philosophical, eh? But totally true.
Implication for parents – don’t beat your head up trying to keep your child happy at all times. In fact, a state of continuous happiness is not healthy for the child. Let your child sulk, cry and whine every once in a while. It is only when they are sad for something; they will feel joy in achieving it. As I tell to Little B (and I am sure others mums must have too), only when you fall, you learn how to get up!
To Sum It Up
As I said earlier, it is the kind of movie that grows up on you. I am questioning myself since as to what kind of memories does Little B has and what personality will she have as she gets older. The movie is creative and clever, hilarious and heartfelt and good enough to join the ranks of Pixar’s best like Toy Story, Wall-E, Up and Brave.
P.S. You must be wondering that why Inside Out movie talks about only 5 emotions (Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger) when there are plenty of emotions that we feel. At the climax of the movie, it is revealed that these five emotions combine to form other complex emotions, e.g. Joy and Sadness combine to form Melancholy.
Vox.com’s Christophe Haubursin has this amazing infograph for how these five emotions combine to form other deeper emotions.