By I. Doherty
In this Pixar adventure from filmmaker Pete Docter, emotions run wild in the mind of a small girl who is ripped from her calm upbringing in the Midwest and forced to live in San Francisco. Riley was happy with her life until her father got a new job in the Bay Area and the family had to move across the country, Riley’s emotional headquarters is now a hive of activity as she prepares to navigate a new city and attend a new school. While Joy tries to keep Riley joyful and positive about the relocation, other emptions such as Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness complicate the shift.
“Core memories” are a device used in the film to explain how major moments in our lives shape our personalities. “Core memories” are objects of major importance in Inside out. Each memory powers an island of Riley’s personality and is vital in making her who she is. They define Riley’s current personality. Riley’s core memories were all yellow since they were joyful recollections up to her first day of school. Riley’s memories of Minnesota turn blue when Sadness comes along and touches them, and they can’t be reversed. Riley’s first core memory is both joyous and sad, as she comes home after attempting to flee and is consoled by her parents. The new core memory powers a larger family island than the one she had before, incorporating elements of both San Francisco and Minnesota. Thereafter, all of Riley’s core memories have aspects of multiple emotions rather than just joy.
Joy tries to make Sadness stand in a circle so that she doesn’t touch anything or make any more memories blue. This is a metaphor for repression, which is often imposed on children by their parents who just want their kids to put on a happy face. This film shows how Sadness, and all other emotions are important part of forming and making us who we are.
After losing Joy and Sadness other emotions take over and Riley’s mind goes crazy. When Joy and Sadness finally return, Joy having realized the value of Sadness, gives the core memories to her, letting them become all sad after all. Now with Joy and Sadness back all emotion were in sync. Riley had replaced her original five core memories with nine new ones by the time she was twelve. All experiencing multiple emotions at the same time.
The practice of personifying human emotions has shown to be effective. It allows us to look within ourselves while standing a little outside of ourselves. Inside Out is a good example of this tradition and it is very 21st century in that it uses the most cutting-edge computer animation and 3D filmmaking technology. It’s a thoughtful film to which everyone can discuss about what, for goodness sake might be going on in that mysterious and fascinating place known as the mind.