Once again Disney-Pixar has decided to “toy” with our feelings–in a good way.
“Inside Out” portrays five emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. They all live inside the mind of Riley, an 11-year-old girl who learns life isn’t always easy when she’s uprooted from her home in Minnesota to a new world in San Francisco. Mom and Dad have their emotions too and we get to see them in action throughout the film as well.
At first it seems like Riley may adjust to her new situation very well. But when she tears up in class on her first day at a new school, it’s all downhill from there. It doesn’t help matters any when just as she needs her two most important emotions (Joy and Sadness), they go AWOL, having been sucked into her long-term memory bank. This leaves Fear, Anger and Disgust to run the show. And they’re not doing much to help matters any.
While trying to find their way back to Headquarters, Joy and Sadness encounter Bing Bong, Riley’s trusted but long forgotten imaginary friend. Bing Bong is key in helping Joy and Sadness get back to where they need to be. For me his exit is also where the tears started. It was like Andy leaving Woody behind all over again.
Sadness tries to go off on her own, feeling that she is the cause for all of Riley’s problems. Joy is able to stop Sadness and finally gets them both back to Headquarters, just in time to change Riley’s mind in wanting to run away back to Minnesota. When Riley returns home to her frantic parents, she finally tells them how she’s been feeling and how she has tried to stay happy for them but it just isn’t working for her. Then she loses it and so do I.
The ending leaves us with Riley, who is now twelve and part of a new junior hockey team called The Foghorns, bumping into a cute young fellow. We see that his own emotions are so mixed up they don’t know if they’re coming or going and he is dumbstruck as Riley takes to the ice.
This little scene and the fact that the control board at Headquarters has now been updated, featuring a big red “PUBERTY” button, leads me to believe that we haven’t seen the last of Riley. Nor have we seen the last of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. Those five emotions better rest up. They haven’t seen anything yet!