In the Disney Pixar animated movie Inside Out, the author focuses the storyline on the emotions of an eleven year old girl named Riley and her experience through her big life changing move to San Francisco with her family. The story is told through Riley’s emotions also known as her central executive in her head. Throughout the story, we are able to see Riley’s developmental transition through three main concepts. These psychological concepts are her emotional development, central executive, and synaptic pruning. This film describes logos and pathos with the character of Riley. Riley has emotions inside her head which begins with Riley being born, we’re introduced to the first emotion inside her, Joy. Then we are introduced to the other emotions and characters, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. The emotions interact with each other to decide on how Riley will react to a situation. They are in charge of Riley’s memories, the most important memories are the core memories. Core memories are what shape Riley’s personality. Her personality traits are shaped by these core memories and they create islands inside Riley. The islands are hockey island, goofball island, friendship island, honesty island, and family island. Although Inside Out is an animated Disney film it expresses a message that not only reaches younger audiences but adults as well.
The film Inside Out describes logos throughout from beginning to end with logic by showing how to go from one emotion to another with a change in your life. Riley goes from being happy in the state she grew up in which was Montana to sad on her first day of school, scared when all her classmates are watching her, and disgusted when she received a broccoli pizza. The first emotion that changes in Riley’s life is the first time she sees her new home in San Francisco. All the emotions are freaking out, resulting in Riley being overwhelmed. This example is important showing us in humans, in early adolescence we’re introduced to new hormones and how overwhelming it is although the emotions are there to regulate and control them. As joy is trying to calm all the emotions she brings memories back to make her happy then sadness starts touching memories, in specific a core memory, and once she touches a memory she turns the memory of joy into sadness and it can’t be changed. Joy isn’t pleased with this so is determined to fix it so her and sadness go to figure it out. Through the journey joy realizes that in the end she needs sadness and she is important in order for joy to do her job because in most memories that are joyful Riley was sad first and joy made her happy. Once they return to headquarters it is at the stage where Riley is experiencing multiple emotions and they receive a bigger control panel to allow multiple emotions to be regulated at the same time, introducing Riley to the new emotions and hormones of early adolescents. This example shows us how the emotional development untwined through time for humans and how as we continue aging we continue to go through many more new emotions and hormones to deal with.
Inside Out has quite a bit of pathos in it by showing sympathy for Riley while going through changes. The film describes how happiness is not just about having joy, or how people should try not to force anyone into being happy. It is normal to be sad at times, and the film shows how to embrace emotions. Throughout the film, Riley learns all of these things and at the end accepts the fact that being sad is normal. During the film, sadness is not able to keep from touching Riley’s happy memories and proceeds to touch the core memories.The central executive is a key point within this film, being all the emotions that are in the headquarters regulating all of Riley’s emotions through their control panel. All emotions are in charge of creating memories through Riley’s day. As Riley’s day goes on each problem she encounters an emotion responds to it and thus creating a specific emotional memory and may even create a core memory, which are the ones who shape Riley’s personality. Once the end of the day comes one emotion is in charge as Riley enters REM mode, once Riley is asleep, they then send all the memories made for the day to the long-term storage where they keep all the memories. The control panel in the film is the central executive. They are the supervisors that are in control of how Riley will react and what information she will be processing. In the film Joy tries to prevent Sadness from allowing any of the working memories to become core memories. Also in the film, when an event is about to take place, the film focuses on how the emotions communicate together in Riley’s central executive. This is an example of how the central executive in humans is used when planning, making major decisions, and resisting temptation. It shows that Riley’s reactions are not quick and she is deciding what to feel, think, or how to react.
In the film, their is a scene where Joy finds Mind Walkers. Mind Walkers go through Riley’s memories and eliminate the memories that Riley does not use. In the film they vacuum out the memories and then they end up in the dump. Some of these memories were the names of Presidents and the names of her favorites dolls growing up. I linked this part of the film to synaptic pruning because they are getting rid of memories that Riley as a child might have used more frequently but did not need as a young adolescent. Synaptic pruning is also thought to help the brain progress from childhood, where it is more moldable and can make new connections, to adulthood, where it is more settled in its framework. I see this in the film when they introduce Riley’s imaginary friend Bing Bong. In the film Bing Bong lives in the storage of Riley’s memories but does not ever gets transferred to the central executive or the Thought Train. At the end of the film Bing Bong has to make the decision to be pruned or Riley will never be able to feel Joy again. This symbolizes Riley’s brain letting go of her childish thought process of imaginary friends and transitioning into a more mature thought process.
The first time I watched this film I did not have any idea that the emotions represented an actual thought process we all experience. In fact, I did not know any of the film had the actual functions of memory, emotions, personality traits, or synaptic pruning. When I watched the film for the second time, I was able to comprehend what was actually going on in Riley’s head. In today’s society most people are or get concerned when they or someone in their life is not happy. However, with this film, it is learned that everyone needs all five emotions. It is okay to be sad, angry, disgusted, scared, or happy. This film was not only able to reach the younger generation but was also able to reach adults and show that it’s okay to feel emotions because you need some rainy days in order to see the rainbows.
Inside Out, Walt Disney Studios, 2015. DVD.