Do you ever look at someone and think “I wonder what’s going on inside their head?” Riley Anderson is typical 11 year old kid growing up in the midwest – she loves her family, friends and most importantly, hockey. Her life is idyllic, from the carefree days during her toddlerhood to her happy days on the hockey rink as she grows into adolescence. Riley is an only child, and her parents are perfectly doting and enamored by their spunky girl. Life is pretty perfect – thanks to five hardworking emotions living inside her head.
There’s Joy – the unofficial leader of the group, who ensures that Riley’s days are filled with fun and happiness. Inside Headquarters also live Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness, who mopes droopily along next to the crew. They are the keepers of Riley’s memories and the advisors of her life. And everything in Riley’s life goes along swimmingly until a major event turns the little girl’s world – and her emotions – inside out.
Riley and her family move to San Francisco, a bustling city with traffic, weird pizza and no ice for hockey rinks. It’s far different from the life Riley once knew in Minnesota. When the family arrives at their dilapidated new home, Riley’s negative emotions start taking over. She is having a hard time adjusting to her new school and misses her friends from back home. She ends up quitting hockey after a disastrous tryout for a new team. She eats lunch alone at school. She drops her best friend and even decides to run away. Slowly but surely, Riley sinks deeper and deeper with Sadness leading the way. Trying to regain control of the situation and restore Riley to happiness, Joy finds herself ejected from Headquarters, with a woefully unhelpful Sadness in tow.
This animated tale from Disney Pixar shows the journey that Joy and Sadness take to help Riley. Their adventure is filled with twists and turns and unexpected visitors, including Riley’s long forgotten imaginary friend Bing Bong. Inside Out is both hilarious and heartfelt, taking viewers along for an emotional ride as Joy and Sadness relive some of Riley’s best and worst moments and learn to work together to bring her back to the girl they once knew. It’s a film that touches the hearts of every audience member, no matter their age, cleverly and unexpectedly demanding the need for a couple of extra tissues. Perhaps a concept that is a bit over the heads of the youngest viewers, we’re reminded of how important it is to lean in, take the good with the bad, and be willing to muddle through some of the crummiest circumstances until we come out again on the other side. In the end, Inside Out teaches us all that finding our happiness is an inside job, made that much easier with a little help from the ones who know and love us the most.
Rated PG (for mild thematic elements and some action)
Directed by: Peter Doctor, Ronnie del Carmen
Cast: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Richard Kind
Run time: 1 hour 34 minutes
View showtimes here.
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