Inside Out

Inside Out

Dr. Paul Ekman played a key consultative role in Disney / Pixar’s widely popular movie ‘Inside Out’ which focuses on emotions and family dynamics.

The five emotions in the film are Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust, and Sadness. Each is cast to evoke familiar character types.
Joy is played by Amy Poehler; Disgust by Mindy Kaling; Fear by Bill Hader; Anger by Lewis Black; and Sadness by Phyllis Smith.

Director Pete Docter consulted with Paul Ekman during development as a well-known psychologist who studies emotions. Ekman had early in his career identified six core emotions – anger, fear, sadness, disgust, joy, and surprise. Docter found surprise and fear to be too similar, which left him with five emotions to build characters around. Other emotions considered for inclusion during the development process were schadenfreude, ennui, pride, and hope.

Film Premise

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

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