Emotional Ups and Downs of ‘Inside Out’

IO_Sphere_Payoff_1s_v9.1_Mechv10_2.0If there is one movie you should take your child to this holiday weekend, let it be Inside Out. My family and I had a chance to see a Director’s Cut during the Disney Social Media Moms Conference in April and while our preview was only 75% of the movie, it gave us so much to think about and my kids were dying to see the rest of it.

When we finally got a chance to see Inside Out opening weekend, to say we were left speechless in an understatement.  It had all the beauty and wit that we have come to know Disney and Pixar for.  I’ve had some debates with parents about the appropriateness and emotional complexity of the movie. Many struggled and had issues with Bing Bong’s passing and how much Disney has emphasized it so much in recent movies like Frozen. I found it was the perfect blend of kid appropriate while sprinkling in some higher thought processes for adults. The movie has so many memorable moments that have both parents and kids laughing at some points and gut-wrenched in others.

sadnessI went with my 11 year old, 8 year old and 5 year old.  Each child had such a different take away from the movie.  My 5 year old loved quoting the silly lines of Inside Out – “Prepare the foot!” or “I’m positive that you’ll get lost in there!” and that was perfectly appropriate for him loving the story of Riley and her move from Minnesota to San Francisco and all the “silly” characters in her head.  While my daughter definitely felt the sadness of Bing Bong’s passing and went home to find and play with some of her old favorite toys while simultaneously begging me to buy her some Inside Out toys from the Disney Store.  My daughter was quick to point out that each of the emotions had their own complex personalities too.  She loved and related to Disgust, her favorite character and I, as her mother, could totally see that. I love the depth of the movie, how Riley is guided by 5 basic emotions early on and how she evolves and grows to more complex emotions that even sometimes overlap. It was a nice reminder to take a chill pill when watching my 2 year old is having a meltdown. I absolutely loved the notion that sadness wasn’t something undesirable but that it was a necessary component of your development and an integral part of being you.

There are so many conversation openers within this movie as we are all guided by our emotions (aka “headquarters”) but seldom do we stop to think about it. Right now, front and center in my family life is helping my children understand the complexities of their emotions and what is appropriate behavior and not… ie, my 5 year old’s constant tantrums when it comes to his sister and his perception of her bullying him. This is definitely a movie about growing up that will grow with your child, and at each stage of their lives, have them learning something new about themselves each time they watch it. I can’t wait to watch it again and again.

To continue the fun and memory creation, I love this activity of making a Jar of Joyful Memories from Fandango Family, a perfect summer break activity: http://www.fandango.com/movie-news/make-a-jar-of-joyful-memories-749374.

Photo Courtesy of Fandango Family

{ disclosure:  This post is part of a sponsored campaign by Fandango Family.  Tickets for this film were self-purchased. As always, all opinions expressed here are my very own. For more information and posts like this, follow #FandangoFamily }