Pixar Animation Studio never fails to warm our hearts with great stories that not only are children’s favorites, but also great materials for adults to enjoy. We had our hearts broken for Carl and Ellie’s love story; our tears shed for Wall-E’s innocent love; and our fists clenched for all the adventures we went through with Woody, Buzz, Sullivan, Nemo, The Incredibles… Oh man, I can’t stop. Just when I thought the stories couldn’t get any better, Pixar’s new feature film ‘Inside Out’ once again blew my mind away. It was a brilliant story with great life wisdom, and something that would actually mean more to a grown up.
The story started out with the common ideology about happiness
The film visualized our memories with shiny, metallic balls, which its color represents the emotion that the memory ties to. When the main character – Riley grew up happy, her core memories were consist of all golden memory balls. That was great, because filling up our life with happy memories is what considered to be our ultimate goal. So it’s only normal to let Joy takes over, the conscious in our mind that’s in charge of happiness. “We should face any life circumstance there is with joy”, because positivity is what gets us through, nothing else. The irony reflected in Inside Out was real, how many times have we been told that in order to feel happy, we must keep our sadness in check? And not to let bad emotions take over our mind because they are destructive and undesirable?
Joy is not the only emotion that brings happiness
A vast number of depression sufferers confessed that one major reason they felt more depressed was due to the over optimism from people around them. Their sadness was real, but no one cared. The ignorance could lead to a more vulnerable state of mind that makes them question their value of existence. The outcome of such thinking, if left unanswered or being implied to be true, often causes more serious mental illness. In the movie, when Riley was overwhelmed by challenges in life that she couldn’t cope, her instinct was to let Sadness took over. But Joy wouldn’t let her, which led to both of them being accidentally sent away from the brain HQ. What happened next was catastrophic, as you can imagine, when fear, anger and disgust were in charged.
Throughout the story events, we could see how Joy was so anxious about getting back to the HQ and set things right again. It was her job and responsibility, as she and all of us assumed. I believe there has never been a time when the audience were so united with the protagonist, because we were literally seeing our own emotion. But not like what we have expected, the one who was getting a lesson in the end wasn’t a villain, but the protagonist herself. It hit me right in the core when I realized how the plot twist reminded us of our unrealistic faith in being overly positive. Sometimes, we just have to allow ourselves to cry.
It surprised me tremendously how Pixar was able to portray one’s psychological journey in an adorable, funny animation film. The atmosphere was relaxing, with great sense of humor, and great presentation of imagination. Yet, the amount of reality hasn’t been compensated. It was authentic, pure, and in a great way – inspiring. The moment when Joy started to embrace Sadness was certainly one of my top 3 historical movie scenes, realizing the meaning it carried – the ability to be open, honest and loving to oneself.
I recommend this film wholeheartedly.