Pixar’s Inside Out Brings to Life What is Going on in Your Kid’s Head

Expect to see Inside Out more than once. We’ve seen it twice – okay, really 1 3/4 times – and it just gets better. The Up comparisons are warranted, and not only because the film is made by the same people; when we saw Up, I liked it and cried the first time, but each subsequent time it gets better and weepier. Don’t kid yourself,  just know you’ll end up seeing this a few times and that you’ll cry more and more each time.
We saw most of the movie last month at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in Florida following a great presentation by Jonas Rivera of Pixar and the producer of Inside Out. He explained a little bit behind the inspiration for the movie, one we can all relate to, where Elie, the daughter of fellow Pixar Director Pete Docter started to morph from this bubbly kid to a bit sullen preteen, leaving the adults wondering what happened. Adolescence happened, of course, little by little, and the movie takes off from there, featuring the main human emotions of joy, disgust, sadness, anger, and fear. I have a 12 year old, and this movie hit very close to home, as you look back and remember the happy go lucky days that have been replaced by something much more complex.
Anyway, we got to screen the film, but because it wasn’t finished, we couldn’t see it all. I had forgotten this, of course, as I got engrossed in the film, only to be sharply jolted out of that reverie when the movie abruptly ended with about 20 minutes to go. We were lucky enough to see another screening last week, this time of the full movie, and it was everything I had wanted it to be.
Emotions are a roller coaster, one that the person on the ride cannot seem to grasp, even. I love the premise, I love the story line, I loved leaving the theater with something to think about and how the transition from childhood into adolescence is portrayed, and the complexity of emotions that comes with growing up.
My kids loved the simplicity of the characters and how they were presented. Sadness looks like a tear, while Disgust looks like broccoli. Anger is clearly a hot head. Joy beams with light. And Fear? He looks like a tightly wound nerve. This is a great way to approach feelings with kids, and by putting a character to these feelings we had a great talk about what each represent, and when you may need these different feelings. I bought the Tsum Tsums of the characters recently at The Disney Store because they’re cute and because they add levity to situations. For instance, we can talk about something scary and picture Fear and laugh at how he would react in that situation. Although when I bought the Tsum Tsums, they were out of Fear. Should we be worried about a run on Fear the day the Tsum Tsums were released? If only we could ask Fear.
I didn’t buy the Bing Bong Tsum Tsum, but after watching the full movie, I will. He’s not one of the core emotions, but he’s a core part of growing up.
I loved this movie. I cried. It wasn’t lost on me that my 12-year-old snuggled next to me during a movie that tried to explain what was going on in her head. She squeezed my arm when I cried. Just thinking about this scene that caused me to cry and her to squeeze my arm makes my eyes well up. We will see this again and I will need more tissues.

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