Inside Out: Playing with your Emotions

Brooke Anderson, News Editor

Pixar’s Inside Out is a box-office topping and critical acclaimed movie that came out earlier this summer. Pixar has a proud tradition of taking things that are incapable of expressing human emotion (robots, toys, rats, and cars) and imagining a world where they can feel. In their latest movie they take viewers inside the head of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. Pixar didn’t want to just make a sort of true story about emotions; they wanted an accurate display of emotions. Pixar hired psychology experts to make sure that their movie was accurate.
Even though Inside Out was ultimately an animated children’s movie, Pixar still took the task of personifying emotions very seriously. To ensure their display on emotions was done accurately and clearly, they hired two experts, Paul Ekman and Dacher Keltner. J. Wesley Judd, writer for Pacific Standard, interviewed Dacher Keltner to figure out how much Pixar displayed accurately in the psychological aspect of the movie.
“Well, I think that the film really got a couple of big ideas about emotion right. One, [emotions] are really critical to how we look at the world-our perception and our attention and our memories and our judgement. They guide us in our handling of really important life circumstances, like moves and developmental changes.” Dacher said. “The second thing is more subtle to perceive in the movie, and it’s something that we’ve been arguing for in my lab: People in different traditions like to refer to emotions with a social idiom or a grammar of social interactions. Emotions are the structure, the substance, of our interactions with other people. If I’m falling in love with somebody, everything that I do in that euphoria of love ̶ buying flowers, reciting poetry, touching the individual’s hair ̶ it’s textured by the feeling and it sets up these patterns of how we relate to each other. Those scenes in particular with Riley’s fights with parents and running away and coming back are all about sadness. That’s what it really got right. Emotions shape how we relate to other people.”
A lot of work was put into the making of this film. It took around five years to make and they did not disappoint. Inside Out crossed the $500 million mark at the global box office, becoming the eighth consecutive Pixar film to reach the milestone. Inside Out is the third highest grossing Pixar film of all time. It was the biggest opening ever for an original property.