Pixar’s Inside Out: An Insight into the pursuit of happiness

The animation was rather a composition of supposed psychologically-mature content and amusement. Pixar does it best. There is always humanity in the picture. There is revolution. There is recognition of the reality of humanness.

Inside Out intrigued me because of the hypes in social media. But what really got me curious was its inclusion of certain basic psychological processes that to me was a little too early for the young to absorb. So I had to see it myself.

The animation is trademark to Pixar, that’s one. Two, what ought to be understood by the academics and collegiate was made palatable to the young viewers. It just amazes me how these animated productions can definitely make a statement in the whole generality of things, whether it be restatement of reality or a counter-idea to reality. Three, individual reactions to situations are normative and internally natural. What the animation depicted was that the whole mind is a whole system in itself. Biology, psychiatry, and even psychology explain this in scientific terms as hormones. The animation is just genius enough to show this in the most lay-man and simplistic manner. Lastly, there is the realization of a human experience toward the pursuit of happiness. Humans live everyday to seek for happiness.

Happiness against all emotional odds

In the animation, there were 4 emotions that coexist with Joy. Fear, Disgust, Anger, and Sadness completed the whole team that makes up Riley, the individual. It was apparent that Joy sustains the system and team. She maintains everything. Whenever there is an overwhelming experience of the other emotions, Joy brings everything to a halt to plan out something that will change things. Joy is but the dominating emotion in a child’s brain.

Duality of Joy and Sadness

What was interesting was the interplay of philosophy into the animation. It was revealed in the end that it was Sadness that actually brought Joy in the experience of a child. It was the reason the child was made happy anyway. In reality, people think that Sadness is the contrast to Joy. But the truth is, both exist together in order to exist individually. Happiness is brought out in every individual after feeling that grief and sorrow. And it’s definitely interesting this at the core of this production.

Emotional disparity among people: adults and children

It is noteworthy that there is indeed a dominating emotion in every individual once he or she comes of age. The mom was predominantly sad because probably of her hormones, or moms are usually inclined toward depression. The dad was rather angry, thus the anger emotion dominating the system. Individuals have different experiences as they get older, and these affect their personality.

But for children, it’s always happiness. They are always happy. Sometimes, we tend to be regressive once things go wrong because we want to feel that joy again just to cope with things. A child is always seen as that sunshine at home brining in happiness whatever happens.

Happiness, a pursuit among individuals

Regardless of the psychological make-up of individuals, everyone is inclined towards happiness. A part of everyone is leaning towards happiness. And the following are realizations in the animation:

  1. It isn’t just about happiness to experience happiness

The happiness experience wasn’t born out of itself. There are other emotions to feel and sense before anything else. To be sad or lonely gives us the reason to seek for happiness. This applies in real-life experiences. Some people go or die. This makes us sad. But a part of us copes as we think of a heaven or as we rationalize things. Others tend to escape in order to be happy. But there is always that grief or sorrow.

  1. We are all different

It may be easy to judge people based on their personality, but the story behind is something to find out. In psychology, there is that sense of tolerance toward people. For us to understand them, there should be an open mind to know the story. How depressed, ecstatic, or anxious a person is doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with his total personality. The experiences play a role. So before pointing at someone as incompetent or incapable, we must look into what the person has gone through.

  1. Of misfits, addicts, alcoholics, and deviants

The animation was quite conservative in terms of holding up a family being correlative to the individual’s functionality and wholeness of being. Meaning, if one is brought up in a complete family, one will grow up as a find adult. But how about those who did actually not? Interestingly, I found room for deviance and misfits in the picture. I just felt that Riley was about to head that way when everything crashed, and happiness and even the other emotions are lost. People of addiction resort to drugs or alcohol to numb themselves, to alter their mind states, and for them to feel just a temporary state of certain emotion, most often ecstasy at times sadness, when there is the urge to cry. The animation was rather bright toward the direction of a complete and happy family, that having a functioning, role-bound family will make individuals feel that security, enabling stability in personality.

I find so much pleasure in these animations. Pixar is a watch-out as always. I just find so much insight in animations that are themed on realistic cases. Inside Out is more than just educative to the children, but reflective to adult viewers.

I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.” ~ Martha Washington

Photo Credit: [Feature photo: http://www.insideout-games.com/]


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