15th October 2015 INSIDE OUT by Ruth Adams

Flying over to New York ready for the birth of my new granddaughter a few weeks ago, I watched the new Pixar film ‘Inside Out’. I’m not sure it’s a children’s film – more one for adults, looking as it does inside the mind of 11 year old Riley who is controlled, as all of us are to some extent, by the emotions in her head.

Joy, Fear, Anger, Sadness and Disgust all take on a personality of their own as cartoon characters and come into conflict with each other as they try and help Riley through the effects of a house move from Minnesota to San Francisco.

Her parents don’t understand the effects of the move on Riley but we can see inside the mission control headquarters of Riley’s mind and appreciate all she’s going through.

There’s lots of different strands to the film and I imagine a second viewing will reveal others. I plan to watch it again on my return flight home to the UK tomorrow.
It’s out on DVD in November – definitely one to buy.

I was fascinated by the film.

Riley’s life, prior to the move at 11 years old was near perfect, largely governed by Joy who ensured that she had a bank of happy and positive memories. Joy was quick to ensure that ‘Sadness’ didn’t get the upper hand, but once the first real challenge of Riley’s life came, in the form of a move from Minnesota to San Fransisco, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust took over.

This is a child who’s life had been secure, happy and yet when a big change came, everything altered.

It’s a great illustration of how different things are for many of the children and young people we live and work with. Their early days aren’t full of happy and secure memories as Riley’s were but often Anger, Fear, Sadness and Disgust are their main emotions.

We used the words Mad, Sad, Glad and Scared to help our children describe their feelings and had 4 colourful cushions made with expressive faces on, each illustrating one of these words. Sometimes all a child with overwhelming feelings could do was hug the appropriate cushion, which spoke volumes and was helpful to everyone as it opened up the opportunity to talk about that feeling and what had caused it.
In school a similar idea was used but with small cards which the children could hand to the teacher when it was hard to speak out their feelings verbally.

Inside Out takes this a step further and I found it a helpful and moving film.
Definitely one for anyone working with children.

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