“Inside Out” is truly one of a kind. Not only is it entertaining for both children and adults, but it forces people to pay attention to something many people refuse to acknowledge. It might even be considered taboo. That is, emotions. In particular, the most under-appreciated and misunderstood emotion: sadness.
As a person who lives with Bipolar Disorder, I know what it feels like to have strong emotions that seem uncontrollable. However, I also know how important it can be to have the appropriate feelings at the right time. I also know the complexity of emotion, and how you can feel more than one emotion at the same time.
In “Inside Out,” Riley is stuck in a state of indifference because her core memories are lost along with her emotions, Sadness and Joy. She cannot move on and get over the fact that she has moved and left everything she loved behind until she allows herself to grieve over the loss. The hero of this story is Sadness and Joy together. Joy realizes that Riley will not return home to her parents unless she feels a longing for them, a sadness at missing them. Sadness is the only one who can make Rile feel sad. Joy is a hero for realizing this and encouraging Sadness to take the controls and to touch Riley’s core memories. Sadness is a hero for having faith in herself, that she can fix the problem, and for following through. This tells the audience that sometimes its okay to be sad. In fact, sometimes it’s more than okay; sometimes it’s good to be sad.
At the end of the movie, we see new memories that are not just one color, representing one emotion, but two colors, representing two emotions. This shows that it is possible to feel more than one emotion at the same time. It demonstrates the complexity of the human psyche. It also shows how humans develop these complexities as they age.
A True Friend
I cannot end this without mentioning Bing-Bong, the imaginary friend. He is a hero in this movie as well. He sacrifices himself so that Joy can get back to headquarters and save Riley. Bing-Bong does this out of nothing but pure love for Riley. He accepts that he is no longer a part of her life and he lets her go. That was perhaps the most difficult feat accomplished in this movie. Even the Bible says in John 15:13, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” In this way, Bing-Bong demonstrates what it means to be a true friend.
I absolutely loved “Inside Out” and I pray that everyone who watches it learns these invaluable lessons.