Life Lessons from the Movie ‘INSIDE OUT’

Inside Out

In my two years of blogging I have never done a ‘movie review’.  However, Stan and I were invited to go with our son Derek, dil Tawni and their family to see the show ‘Inside Out’.  Afterwards I kept thinking about it and decided there was substance the show – more than the usual cartoon. So I dragged Delsi along to see it again, and here are a few thing to be learned from this movie…

I have not been compensated, nor linked to affiliates for this review – all opinion and comments are my own.  I will try very hard not to spoil anything for those who have not seen the show, truly I will.

The show begins with our main character, Riley Riley Andersen

With most of the story being told from the perspective of her emotions, they are:






There are also many other key players, namely her parents of course.

You can see from the pictures of the key emotions, it pretty much tells exactly what their job entails.

  • Sadness isn’t quite sure what her job is, or that she is important or even needed, however is actually the voice of reason at times.
  • Anger over reacts much too often, is impatient and is worried things are unfair.
  • Fear seems to take a backseat while Riley was young and right next to Joy at this stage of life.  As she gets a bit older he then seems to be constantly on the lookout for any potential danger, risk of injury and very prone to overreact.
  • Disgust was pretty much in the background while Riley was young, then as she grew, she became very impatient and had high expectations for those around her. Appearances began to matter also.
  • Joy is the main emotion and driving force.  She will do anything she can to make sure Riley is happy and that life is only fun and light-hearted.  As Riley’s life becomes complicated, Joy cannot seem to allow the changes.  She has a hard time being flexible and letting the other emotions have their place too.

Riley’s memories are rated by emotion and given a priority color and status according to the importance.  This becomes a critical part of the plot of the movie.

There are Five ‘Islands of Personalities’, which are important aspects and uniquely individual to Riley:  Family Island, Friendship Island, Hockey Island, Honesty Island, and Goofball Island.

The show is well done, with a storyline that is common enough in life that it can be related to on many levels – moving, how friends act, dealing with family members, etc. In this changing world, it was extremely refreshing and quite honorable to see that the family was central to the plot and highly import to this girls life.

What really drew me to reviewing this movie is how the emotions of this girl are so complex, yet made comprehensible so that anyone can see this show and say, ‘Now I understand why I feel this way’, or ‘I think I can see why so-and-so might be acting a certain way.’

As we grow and change, those years are so difficult to truly grasp what is going on in our bodies and our heads; particularly if there is an upheaval of any sort to add to the stress.  This show, yes in cartoon fashion, does simplistically, set out visually, expertly in a way for us to grasp what is happening.

Also I really appreciated how the director and writer demonstrated that all emotions are vital in our life, however we need to have balance and control.  Namely, we cannot have joy without a bit of sadness.  Why?  How can we appreciate and comprehend true joy if we have not known sorrow?!

It is a show for all ages, there is something for everyone to see.  The colors, visuals and graphics are amazing.  The humor keeps everyone entertained.

I definitely would recommend it to see as a family.  Then afterwords take the time to talk about it all together. 

  • Let it be a casual conversation when everyone can speak freely.
  • Ask if they ever feel one emotion gets to have more of a voice than the others.
  • This is the perfect opportunity to discuss just how important family, is despite what happens in life, friends come and go, hobbies and interests change, and so forth.
  • Did they know others had the same feeling sometimes they did?
  • May I also suggest that during the discussion is happening that God is brought in also. How He can help us with our concerns, our fears, our troubles, our worries, etc. Remind them of how much He loves them and that they are never alone and to pray. He will give constant guidance in easy and hard times.

 This movie, INSIDE OUT really is a clever way to understand that we all have different ways of thinking, yet we really are very much the same.  I feel this show could prevent so much loneliness and even cruelty if people realized how much we were truly are alike.  I hope you will let me know if you watch this movie and what your opinion is.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

pictures from Pixar site

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today


  1. We took the girls the first weekend it opened to the 3D version and my oldest just loved it but my younger daughter actually got scared at the part where the worlds began to crumble. However, I do agree this movie was truly a gem and so cleverly done, too. But then again, Disney and Pixar usually just have a way of doing their movies justice. thanks for the awesome review :)

  2. I’ve never heard of this movie (goes to show I need to get out more), but this is a really good review and I’m actually interested in seeing it. I haven’t been to the movies since The Hobbit 2 came out (few years ago) so I’m pretty sure I’ll be watching it once it comes out on DVD or Netflix. I really like how you broke it down, it sounds really interesting.

  3. Carrie, when I saw the trailer for this movie I laughed till I almost cried! So funny and so real! Not sure about little kids but I sure know ADULTS will love it! <3

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