Inside Out is a refreshing take on the inner workings of a pre-pubescent girl’s mind. The film delves to emotional depths with such colour and imagination. Inside Out’s brilliant look at the mind will entertain children and parents alike.

The latest from animation powerhouse Disney/Pixar, Inside Out takes us inside the mind of Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), an 11-year-old girl whose life gets uprooted when their parents (Kyle MacLachlan and Diane Lane) move from Minnesota to San Francisco.

We take a close look at how this life-changing experience transforms Riley’s mental state, using five important emotions:

Joy (Amy Poehler)

Fear (Bill Hader)

Anger (Lewis Black)

Disgust (Mindy Kaling)

Sadness (Phyllis Smith)

Disney Pixar Inside Out review

All of Riley’s emotions are harnessed in Headquarters, her brain’s “control room”, with memories stored in small, glass-like balls, sent through mazes and tunnels for short and long-term storage. Connected by bridges are a series of “islands of personality” built of core memories, with such titles as Friendship, Family, Goofball and Honesty.

Because Riley isn’t happy about the move, Sadness keeps touching the “happy” memory balls, turning those memories into sad ones. Joy and Sadness are then on a mission to save Riley’s core memories, leaving Fear, Anger and Disgust in charge.

Inside Out is both simplistic and complicated, but the message is straightforward: it’s okay to feel sad, angry, scared or disgusted. Without those strong powerful emotions, especially sadness, you wouldn’t be able to experience joy. Whether my 8 and 10 year old understood some of the messaging in the film, I’m not sure. But the main theme is family and love.

The concept is refreshing and wonderful, and the execution – brilliant. Two thumbs up!



Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.


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