Talking About ‘Inside Out’

Jeremy Pierre | June 23, 2015

As the kids piled into the minivan after the new Pixar film Inside Out, I couldn’t help but imagine the personified emotions busy behind the control panels of their minds—anger at not getting the best seat, disgust at a younger sibling wiping things from his nose onto his shirt, joy at talking about a favorite scene.

That’s what’s so compelling about this movie. Inside Out is sort of a neo-allegory of what we experience in life. The five big emotions that earned a roster spot in the film are Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust, and Sadness. Each is brilliantly cast to evoke familiar character types in pop culture—Joy, the de facto deputy director of the bunch, is played by Amy Poehler; Disgust by the contemptuous Mindy Kaling; Fear by the preposterous Bill Hader; Anger by the gravel-voiced Lewis Black; and Sadness by Phyllis Smith, whose voice is the essence of melancholy. 

These characters both cooperate and clash with one another as they direct the behavior of a little girl named Riley, who is navigating the complexities of a family move from Minnesota to San Francisco. The dynamic between the world outside Riley’s head and the emotional competition inside is insightful and hilarious. This is a well-researched…

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