I love Disney Pixar films. My favourite film is Finding Nemo and luckily I thought the sequel Finding Dory was fantastic! I also really like Monsters Inc, so yes I’m definitely a fan of these films. A new favourite of mine is Inside Out. This film was really popular at the box office. It was well received critically and won several awards. The DVD was a birthday present from my sister and I’ve already watched it twice! I like the characters, the colours and the music. But what makes this film extra special is the topic and plot and its connection to mental health.
Here’s a quick summary of the film Inside Out [DVD] – no spoilers I promise! Most of the film takes place in Riley’s brain, known as headquarters. Riley is an 11 year old girl. In headquarters there are 5 emotions; joy, sadness, fear, disgust and anger. There are little marbles which are Riley’s memories and core memories are the really important memories in her life. These core memories power different aspects of Riley’s personality. ‘Friendship Island’, ‘Family Island’, ‘Goofball Island’, ‘Hockey Island’ and ‘Honesty Island’ are what make Riley, Riley. The plot and the characters were developed with psychologists. These are my favourite quotes which really sum up each of the emotions.
Fear: ‘We didn’t die today I call that a success’
Sadness: ‘Crying helps me slow down and assess over the weight of life problems’
Joy: ‘Find the fun’
Anger: ‘Can I say that curse word now?’
Disgust: ‘She did not just say that’
During the film Inside Out [DVD] Riley goes through a lot of upheaval and some big life changes. She and Joy learn lots of lessons about mental health and so do I. We learnt that sadness serves an important purpose. Sadness creates empathy in others when Riley is emotionally overwhelmed and needs help. I learnt that if you admit when you’re unhappy this can lead to happiness. For example, you admit you’re feeling unhappy and you get a hug and an opportunity to chat to someone.
By the end of the film all of the emotions work together and Riley leads a more emotionally complex life. Throughout the film Riley’s mother calls her a brave and happy girl. Subconsciously she is reinforcing the idea that happiness or a putting on a brave face to feign happiness is the best way to cope. From this film I learnt that it is okay, normal and healthy to be sad sometimes. I have a greater appreciation for all emotions and that they all valid. I’ve learnt about the importance of a balance of emotions rather than forcing yourself to be happy all the time. This is something I’m trying to take on board and express what I’m feeling. I have always hidden my depression behind a big smile, happy words and a confident attitude. But through this film I’ve realised that is not helpful, if anything it is damaging and likely to be making my mental health worse.
Have you seen Inside Out [DVD]? Did you like it? Do you have any film recommendations that address mental health issues?
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