Riley is a happy 11-year-old girl. Happy is pretty much her default setting – in her brain, her responses are controlled by personified emotions: Sadness, Fear, Disgust, Anger and Joy, who’s in charge. It’s Joy’s (Amy Poehler) life’s mission is to ensure Riley stays happy.
Then Riley moves with her parents from Minnesota to San Francisco. She doesn’t know how to deal with the new life, and her emotions go haywire. When Sadness (Phyllis Smith) and Joy get sucked into Riley’s long-term memory, they must embark on a difficult and dangerous journey to get back to headquarters.
With no one to guide the remaining emotions, Riley starts going through mood swings, which she doesn’t know how to deal with. The cornerstones of her personality crumble as she moves from being carefree to troubled.
Inside Out is emotional and thought-provoking. How often are you told to “put on a happy face” by your parents? This film shows how harmful that can be. It shows how important it is to admit to our emotions, and not ignore them just because they may be unpleasant. Even though it’s “just” a cartoon, it’s honest. There will be belly-laughs but there will also be tears. But whatever you feel about this film when credits roll, it’s okay.
Inside Out hits cinemas on July 23.