Essay on An Analysis Of Pixar 's Inside Out

Essay on An Analysis Of Pixar 's Inside Out

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At first glance, Pixar’s Inside Out seems to be your standard coming of age film. The film follows an 11-year-old girl, Riley who is forced to make a move from Minnesota to San Francisco with her parents. However, a deeper look at the film reveals how accurate it is to developmental psychology. The center of the story isn’t Riley and her family, but Riley’s primary emotions –Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. The five emotions are personified as characters that control her mind as she transitions from childhood to adolescence and deals with the challenge of adjusting to a new place. Inside Out uses Riley and her emotions function as a demonstration of the relationship between emotion and cognition. In doing so, the film reveals several important questions about developmental psychology. Such as, how do emotions color our memories of the past and what is the emotional life of an adolescent like?
Joy and sadness are the initial two emotions that Riley are born with and they have a small control panel. As time goes on, more emotions are added and the control panel becomes increasingly complex. This demonstrates emotional development over time moving from childhood into adolescence. A great example of the exchange between cognition and emotion are Riley’s memory balls. Each memory ball has a central emotion that is felt in the memory. Riley has a set of core memory balls which shape the way Riley thinks and feels about the world. Joy prides herself in the belief that all of Riley’s core memories are shaped by joy. Joy is the leader of Riley’s team of emotions and allows most of the team to serve their function. Joy is in control of keeping Riley happy, fear and disgust keep her from making unsafe decisions such as ingesting p...

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...thers. We need to feel painful emotions like sadness or we deprive ourselves of the chance to heal. When Joy and Sadness make it back to the center, she allows Sadness to take control. Riley finally has a cathartic cry with her parents and moves toward repairing and healing so she can adjust to the new normal for her life. Riley’s memories balls also highlight the relationship between state-dependent memory and adjustment. Inside Out highlights how important is to have memories that fully integrate our emotions. When we don’t have that, memories can be fragmented or displaced. When Sadness held a core memory, she wasn’t hurting Riley or changing the memory. She was revealing in important facet of the memory.
Humans are complex and we can experience contradictory emotions at the same time. Everyone experiences them and it’s natural and healthy to express each one.

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