‘Inside Out’ Is the Children’s Movie Millennials Needed In the ’90s
It was an astounding feat when Inside Out debuted in theaters four years ago. It was almost as if someone realized that kids were people too. When we think of children’s movies–the ’80s and ’90s were full of classics. It was the era that gave us The Lion King, Oliver and Company, Beauty & the Beast, and The Great Mouse Detective, among others. However, despite the legendary soundtracks and the way our hearts shattered after Mufasa’s death–children’s movies of the 20th century were still very much centered around giving generic life lessons or pushing the narrative that girls needed to be rescued by boys. Luckily, society has gotten some sense knocked into it, and these days we’re getting much more nuanced stories like Brave, Zootopia, and The Incredibles. However, Inside Out truly pushed the envelope when it comes to kiddy flicks.
The movie followed 11-year old Riley whose life is uprooted when her father gets a new job, and she and her parents move from Minnesota to San Francisco. Change is difficult for anyone, but for adolescents and teens, in particular, they can be exceptionally challenging. Instead of just analyzing Riley’s brain on a surface level, the movie does a deep dive into her psyche where we meet the five emotions, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust.
It’s these emotions that rule Riley’s world–but what Disney does that’s so profound, which is why the movie resonates well across generations, is that there is actual psychology behind the storytelling. Even as an adult, it can be challenging to sort through your feelings, and it can be particularly jarring when you realize that you’re feeling more than one emotion at once. Thankfully, Disney and Pixar decided to give us the perfect visual of what this might look like if our feelings were human-like figures running rampant in our brains.
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