By now you probably know the Disney Pixar Movie ‘Inside Out’ is based on what’s going on inside your head, but what would cause a writer to come up with a concept like this about your feelings? Well, his kids, of course.
Actually, in this case, Pete Docter, the film’s Director, wondered about one child in particular, his daughter, who up until around age 11 was easy-going and mostly pleasant to be around. According to the movie’s Producer, Jonas Rivera, Pete’s daughter would sometimes hang out in the office and was always ‘bubbly’, with a smile or laugh that made others equally happy. But after age 11, things changed in this girl, as happens around this age with all girls. She withdrew into her headphones, her face down in a phone more times than not. Pete wondered what was going on in his daughter’s head, and thus, a movie idea was born.
They decided to run with this idea and look at the mind, emotions, and how they all work together. They had to do a little research to make it work, and as you’ll hear in the video below, got conflicting answers on some of their questions, including how many emotions we each experience. It turns out there could have been many more than five characters for this animated film.
As you can see in the storyboard photo above of their plot development, the writers started with six characters, or six emotions. They ultimately dropped the character Surprise, believing it was too similar to Fear. Find out more in the video below.
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I watched the movie with my children (as an invited guest for the sake of a review) and loved it. Having three kids who have already passed this stage where joy isn’t the dominant emotion, it was refreshing to see a message that matches what I’ve told them all their lives–YOU HAVE TO FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL WHEN YOU FEEL IT. There’s no point in pretending or ‘sticking your head in the sand’ when you’re not happy. You have to feel the sad times to appreciate and truly enjoy the happy times. I loved this film for validating that parenting advice and, in my opinion, reminding me my role isn’t to make them happy every minute. My 20 year old son watched it with me and said he had tears twice in the movie. My 9 year old daughter said it made her emotional, too. It will make you laugh, too, or ‘bring you joy’, but I hope it also sparks a conversation with your children about the happiest–and saddest–times in their life. Those are the kinds of talks I need to have more often with my kids.