Brain Injury Resources – Movie Recommendation – Inside Out
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
“Do you ever look at someone and wonder What is going on inside their head?”
That’s how the movie Inside Out begins. I really like it. I’ve now seen it twice. The beginning made immediate sense the second time that I watched the movie.
This Academy Award-winning, animated film by Walt Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios is definitely for adults. Young children will likely be entertained by the hysterically funny characters, but adults will find it both enormously entertaining and immensely informative.
The movie follows the emotional development of Riley from infancy to young, prepubescent girl. Each emotion is hilariously depicted as a character (Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger), whose appearance and demeanor depicts the emotion represented.
The emotions control Riley’s behavior from a control panel in the brain. Riley is a happy young child, and Joy is pleased. But, things get more complicated as Riley gets older. Riley’s parents move, and Riley has a crisis that challenges her emotions. The resolution requires the emotions to cooperate.
In no way is the movie anatomically correct, but in contrast the psychological concepts are accurate. The introduction of a concept makes understanding it intuitive and effortless. Among other topics, you will painlessly learn about the making, storage, and dumping of memories, about the importance of emotion and memory in one’s behavior, that core memories are crucial to personality, and that joy and sadness are both important emotions. The movie deals with sleeping, dreaming, the difficulty in differentiating between fact and opinion, the subconscious, abstract thought, imaginary friends, imagination, train-of-thought (depicted as a real train), etc. In fact, my brother-in-law, who teaches introductory psychology to college students, is considering making watching this movie a requirement for the course.
I highly recommend it. (Trailer)