Deeper than the normal Pixar movie: Inside Out makes mental health palatable for kids


(Promotional material courtesy of IMDb)

Poster advertising Inside Out, featuring the characters Sadness (voiced by Phyllis Smith), Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler), Anger (voiced by Lewis Black), Disgust (voiced by Mindy Kaling), and Fear (voiced by Bill Hader).

Released June 19, 2015, Inside Out takes place inside the mind of Riley Andersen (Kaitlyn Dias), a once content 11-year-old who begins feeling the effects of growing out of childhood memories and friendships. 

After moving away from her childhood town to follow her dad’s new job, Riley begins to suffer from adjustment disorder. As Joy (Amy Poehler), the voice of happiness in Riley’s mind, tries to fulfill her job of keeping Riley content, Sadness (Phyllis Smith) begins to override Riley’s core joyful memories. After Sadness and Joy are swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind, a close bond forms between the two emotions as they search for the way back to Riley. Joy comes to understand the importance of Sadness in Riley’s life as well as realizing the positive effects Sadness has had in building many of Riley’s core memories. 

Giving an 11-year-old’s perspective on a wide-reaching issue, Inside Out goes deeper than just another Pixar movie by displaying the complex balance of emotions when growing up and building relationships. 

Inside Out is available on the Disney + streaming platform.