Last week, my family attended an advance media screening of the Inside Out movie. The movie opens in theaters today (June 19th). Friends have been asking me if they should take their kids to see it. My answer is, “It depends…” Before I go all deep in my analysis of the film, I want to share the opinions of my husband and sons.
I don’t think that the movie is suitable for kids under the age of 6. Parents should be willing to explain emotions and some of the scenes….especially the one with the imaginary friend. It’s a really good movie overall. It helps teach about the importance of all emotions – that they are all needed. It was especially hilarious when you see the emotions inside the minds of the mother and father when they were talking at dinner with Riley. Men and women’s emotions are so different.
It was a little depressing because death was involved but I still recommend it because it was a good movie. It talks about emotions. I thought that anger was hilarious because he liked screaming at people. Joy was very positive. (Michael also liked the short about the volcanoes that was shown before the movie.)
Kids under 5 shouldn’t go because they might still have an imaginary friend. Fear was funny because he was scared of everything and said, “I’m quitting”. Anger were hilarious and he got Riley sent to her room. I learned that sadness shouldn’t be pushed around because it’s just as important as joy.
Personally, I learned/was reminded about some important things from the Inside Out movie…
I really related to Joy. When she cried that she just wanted Riley (the girl in the movie) to be happy, I nodded along in agreement. Joy/happiness is my default emotion. I get it from my mother, another Polyanna. We are “cup half full” type of people and (almost) always try to look for the positive aspect of situations.
Joy – in and of itself – is not a bad thing. I still think that we need more of it in the world. However, Inside Out, reminded me not to ignore, discount or dismiss the other emotions – not in myself or in others. Humans were created with 4 to 6 (depending on whom you ask) core emotions and each one of them is important and needed. It’s arrogant to think and act otherwise.
In the movie, Joy thinks that she is the most important and necessary emotion…and it ends up causing a lot of pain. Joy devalued the knowledge and wisdom of sadness. In fact, it was obvious that she looked down on Sadness although Sadness was the one who helped the two of them get out of danger and figured out how to get out of other negative situations. Ultimately, Joy learned that without Sadness, people never get to experience comfort and encouragement from others. In essence, Joy ceases to exist without sadness. Being in touch with all emotions, makes our kids (and ourselves!) more complete, well-rounded, relatable people. All of the emotions are important.
The day after my family saw the Inside Out movie, I had a chance to put the lessons learned from the movie into practice. I was speaking with a friend about some upcoming changes that are bittersweet. She started to cry and my default setting was to try to cheer her up and point out the positive aspects of the change. (I know. I know.) I caught myself though and just sat there with her in her sadness for a little while. We both cried – acknowledging that change is sad. Later, we ate the dinner that I had prepared and had a great time.
In the words of ROB BASE & D.J. E-Z ROCK:
Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain
Joy (Pump, pump, pump it up.) and pain (Come on. Come on. Here we go.)
(They’re) Like sunshine (What else? What else?) and rain (Awww, yeah!)
In any event, if your child watched Up and wasn’t too saddened by it, then they should appreciate the Inside Out movie. If your kid still has an imaginary friend, then just be prepared to comfort them. There is a scene in the movie where something really sad happens with Riley’s imaginary friend Bing Bong and one of the younger kids in the movie theater let out the most heart-breaking wail. (Poor little one.) The great aspects of the Inside Out movie far outweigh the sad ones though…much like life!