We saw Inside Out last night and loved it (as with everything from Pixar, including the adorable Lava short).
Inside Out provides a fresh vocabulary of concrete images for explaining who we are and how we feel.* Here are some first thoughts on why Inside Out offers so many great ways for kids and parents — or just about anyone (it’s not just a kids’ movie) — to more effectively talk about how they feel:
- Even Joy cries.
- Joy and Sadness work together and cannot be separated.
- Fear is introduced in a positive light as Caution, and brings alertness, waking us up when necessary.
- All emotions are necessary, not only Joy, Sadness and Fear, but also Anger and Disgust.
- Emotional immaturity is when only one emotion has too much control (even Joy).
- Joy goes astray when she tries to “fix” things.
- Healing comes through Sadness.
- Emotional maturity (a larger console) results when all the emotions work together.
- To avoid feeling angry or sad or afraid is not the goal. Rather, the worst condition is when the emotions shut down (no power to the console).
- Despite our differences, we’re all alike in this: Everyone has the same emotions.
- The reality is inside, not how we appear on the surface.
- Sometimes deep inside, forgotten altogether by our conscious minds.
- Everyone is complex, more complex than they appear.
As Augustine wrote in the Confessions:
“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.”
* I wrote something similar here about the fantasies of George MacDonald and Paul Young.
Inside Out is the typical Pixar formula of laughs, heart, adventure, and dazzling visuals. Though not as memorable as The Incredibles or Up, Inside Out is still one of the strongest animated films to come out in recent memory from any studio and deserves the love and admiration it’s getting.