Editorial | Issue 18

Editorial | Issue 18

The Art of Inside Out - Forcing us to open up in a Pixar kind of way

The ever-complicated idea of emotions, and how we could, should and do deal with them, is challenging at the best of times. But good art, great art in this example, somehow helps us find a way of making things make sense.

The best piece of art I’ve seen lately is the movie, Inside Out. Yes, the Pixar movie.

In a time when each generation is interpreted as being more and more shallow, the latest Pixar movie finally decided to get to the deep stuff.

In a time when the stigma of mental illness remains, stopping us from talking about anything from slightly unstable emotions to crippling depression, the most loveable character (and the ultimate hero) was Sadness.

Going beyond the sentiment that you need the bad times to enjoy the good times — this always annoyed me as feeling sad for the sake of knowing when I was happy leads to a pretty sceptical idea of happiness — Inside Out pulls that whole thought apart. It explains the real reasons we have those emotions in our head.

For those who still haven’t seen this creation, the movie is about a young girl, Riley, whose parents move her away from her hometown, where all her friends are, to a new city. As Riley deals with the resentment and loneliness of moving but also trying to remain happy for her parents, we gain an insight into her mind’s control panel: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust.

The gist of the movie is that Riley doesn’t figure things out until Joy and Sadness start working together, instead of Joy constantly trying to suppress Sadness. Joy realises that Sadness helps us make good decisions, as do fear, anger and disgust. There’s no reason to be happy all the time, and if sadness is telling you that you’re not happy, then listen to her and make a change. When the time comes for happiness to kick in, you’ll know it, but she’ll never get a shot if you don’t listen to all those other emotions trying to express themselves.

For me, Inside Out is the best piece of art I’ve seen in years. It’s confrontational just like art is confrontational: express it and embrace it in every way you can.

Josie Cochrane
Critic Editor

This article first appeared in Issue 18, 2015.
Posted 10:26am Sunday 2nd August 2015 by Josie Cochrane.