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Inside Out

This is a wonderful animated movie from Pixar. Riley is a little girl who moves from her home in Minnesota to San Francisco when her father gets transferred there for work. The story that goes on inside of Riley is the substance of the movie. Five personified emotions- anger, fear, sadness, joy, and disgust – rule the control panel of Riley’s inner life. One day Joy and Sadness find themselves outside of the control center and embark on a journey to return. The writers create a fascinating and visually gorgeous inner psychological world, complete with her long-term and short-term memories, subconscious, emotions, dreams, fears, nightmares. I simply amazed at how the writers created a film that brought psychological concepts to life and a really powerful story that shows how all of the emotions – even sadness – are a necessary part of growing up and of life. I found the ending to be unexpected and the movie overall to be intensely affirming of the richness of our inner psychological worlds. This gets a big thumbs-up from me. It is a great all-ages movie that is fun to watch, has a great story behind it, and also teaches us something about psychology and life at the same time. This is a must see for anyone with kids (and, of course, for those of us adults who can get into a really great Pixar movies). (2015; 4.5 stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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