Pixar’s Inside Out

Have you ever wondered what goes on in somebody’s head? Inside Out began with this question. We are introduced to Riley (the protagonist) and her emotions. Riley is 11 and has just moved from Minnesota to San Francisco with her parents. We see how the move affects her through her emotions, which have distinct personalities of their own.

Joy is yellow, thin and skipping with energy radiating happiness. Sadness is blue, fat with large eyes covered by large round glasses. She is always miserable and feels tired at the thought of doing anything (down in the dumps quite literally). She’s my favourite emotion, and contrary to her name, provided the audience with a lot of laughs. Fear is thin, short and scared of anything and everything, choosing the coward’s way in a situation, and speaks in a nervous voice. Anger is red, short and bursts into flames when driven over the edge. Disgust is a green (reminded me of jealousy) with girly hair and curled eye lashes. They have got the nuances right in the brilliant voice overs and their physical appearances.

But there is no Confusion as pointed out by another movie goer. Maybe it will be introduced once Riley attains puberty. Desperately hoping for a sequel!

Joy tries hard to make the transition of Riley smooth. Moving is never easy. You can’t be done with the old and in with the new instantly. Settling in takes time.

Sadness touches a core memory and brings on mayhem. Joy has a very low opinion of Sadness and sees her as a dark blip on her sunny radar but realizes her importance in making memories and life what it is. At first it appears they couldn’t be more different but the well being of Riley is what they have in common.

Joy and Sadness go on a rescue mission to save Riley. With them gone Riley feels numb. The other emotions realize they made a big mistake listening to Anger who goaded them into doing something drastic to make Riley happy. Do Joy and Sadness reach in time to save the day? Watch Inside Out to find out.

The different coloured orbs represent memories. How short term memories are made, how they are converted into long term memories. The process of accumulation of memories is what we call a life. Where will we be without our memories? The importance of core memories and how they can change with life altering events is what drives the story forward.

Dreams are movies our mind makes by taking into account our feelings and our deep seated emotions which find a place in the subconscious. Subconscious is shown to be a scary place where our deep-seated fears which don’t always follow rhyme and reason (or so we think) are hidden. Being inside the dream factory is like being on a movie set. Reality with distortion filter is what our dreams are made of.

They find Riley’s imaginary friend Bing Bong who leads them into imagination land and abstract thought. We get a sneak peak into stages of abstraction; from a three dimensional entity you become a two dimensional figure. It was quite interesting but I’m not sure I understood it.

When Riley doesn’t use a memory it fades. It is important to know that’s how a memory remains relevant. No wonder the things we keep replaying in our heads seem more memorable and are not easy to cast off.

Who are we without our core memories? Who we are. What we do. What we think and feel. How it shapes our personality and makes us who we are. It’s all brain chemistry. Or is it?

It was interesting to see how emotions and memories brought about changes though it is not quite simple as shown but it was nice to see that they had got the science correct. The younger audience will remember these things and later on when they study they will make a connection, and the older audience will be going ah that’s right while watching it.

I loved the movie and saw it again recently. I had decided to catch it even before reading any review which is a departure from how I usually function. And I made it a point to take my mother to see it again who doesn’t really watch animation or English movies. What does that tell you! Go watch it on TV or Prime or whatever.

Have you seen Pixar’s latest Coco?

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