Analysis Of Emotions Represented In The Film Inside Out

Throughout the film Inside Out Riley experiences several different emotions that shape her into the person she is. Each of the emotions play a vital role in developing her personality, her likes and dislikes and the way she interacts with others.

Disgust is one of the 5 universal emotions and is portrayed as ‘green’ throughout the film. She is a self-obsessed, snobby, superficial and stubborn character who “basically keeps Riley from being poisoned-physically and socially.” She has green skin, green emerald eyes, long green eyelashes and although she is slim, she has a big head. She wears a green dress, with a pink scarf and pink shoes, and bold makeup such as eyeshadow and lipstick. She is dressed like a ‘cool girl’ and is extremely put-together because appearances matter to her. She is portrayed as the ‘green’ character as often green foods such as leaves, and broccoli are foods that children find disgusting. It is easy to make a connection between the colour and the emotion. Disgust’s face is often scrunched up because she is always disgusted by various things. She tends to have her arms on her hips and eyes rolled. She is very protective of Riley and has high expectations for everyone around her.

Throughout the film Disgust generally speaks with a rude and sarcastic tone. She uses a lot of hyperbole whilst speaking to exaggerate situations or things that may not even be as disgusting as she describes. When arguing with Anger she says, “I’d tell you, but you’re too dumb to understand…guess I’ll just have to dumb it down to your level”, which accurately describes her tone for most of the film. Disgust also says “Wanna know a lame activity?” Going on a 28-hour car drive”, which once again depicts the way she speaks. Disgust is portrayed as a character who is quite ‘up herself’ and she believes that she is better than everyone else, although her intention and first priority is to keep Riley away from disgusting things. The tone she speaks in reveals that superficial and partly self-obsessed. She speaks quite loudly throughout the film which reveals a key part of her personality, that she is highly opiniated and confident. Disgust plays a vital role in communicating the message of the overall film. Disgust allows us to understand that having the emotional response of ‘disgust’ allows us to stay clear of disgusting things and avoid things we may not like. She also makes us further understand that our body can have an immediate response to those things we dislike and that you can’t always like everything and everyone and be happy. Her character also further communicates the message of how each emotion plays a vital role in defining a person.

Sadness is another key emotion in the film Inside Out. Sadness was made to look like a tear drop, a symbol that can be associated with sadness. This is because when we are upset the body’s response can be to produce tears. Sadness is the ‘blue’ character and is short and stubby. She has short blue hair, wears circular glasses and warm winter clothing. She is generally curled up against her body and walks with her shoulders hanging down. She always seems sad, gloomy, tired and sleepy. She is always upset, worried or scared about something. Her emotion is not commonly used as Joy never wants Riley to be upset. Sadness generally says depressing and sad lines throughout the film. She says sorry excessively, but otherwise doesn’t speak too much. A dialogue from the film that particularly highlights her personality is when she says, ‘crying helps me slow and down and obsess over the weight of life’s problem’s’. She is a pessimistic character and has a fixed mindset. Instead of trying to look for the positives in situations, she does the opposite and looks for the negative things.

Sadness allows us to understand one of the key messages in the film that a balance of emotions is important and that you need to be able to express the emotion of sadness, so that you can remember and cherish the happy moments. In the film we see how the sad moment of losing the hockey match, caused her team to hail her and her parents to comfort her, which in turn made her happy. Inside Out shows us that sadness is a necessary emotion in life, and how it plays a key role in developing our happy memories.

Finally, joy is one of the most important emotions in our life. Joy is a ‘glowing’ character who is yellow, wears a green dress, has blue hair and is nearly always smiling. She is a very positive character and has a great attitude and is full of life and energy. She was created to be shaped like a star to represent a ‘star/burst of energy’. She shares a special bond with Riley and joy was the first emotion Riley experienced. One of the key take-aways from Joy in the film is to always stay positive, and that ‘there are a lot of things to be happy about’. She says that ‘You can’t focus on what’s going wrong…there’s always a way to turn things around’. Joy is generally kind to others and always encourages the other emotions to be positive and optimistic. However, Joy can sometimes be a bit dismissive and insensitive to the other emotions. She is fixed on the idea that we must be happy at all times every day. Nonetheless, towards the conclusion of the film Joy realises that the sad moments are what allow us to cherish the happy ones. Despite her sometimes fixed mindset, the way she actively tries her best to find solutions to problems instead of only ‘think’ positively makes her such wonderful emotion/character.

Joy play’s the largest role in understanding the film’s messages. She teaches us to be determined, motivated, positive and exuberant and truly take whatever life offers us with open arms. We are able to understand how the happy memories we make are the result of all the different emotions working together, how each emotion forms a different part of our personality and that our interactions with others are heavily dependent on the emotions we experience and feel.     

16 December 2021
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