Eleven year old Riley moves to San Francisco with her family and her emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear and Disgust – try to help Riley deal with her new home and school.
I bought a Spotify subscription after hearing the ad for this so many times. The ad was so awful, I just couldn’t take it anymore and I swore to never see this film. However, it has obviously gotten incredibly popular so I finally decided to just watch it.
My initial response to the ad was pretty accurate. Although the animation is nice, it has a terrible message, horrible stereotypes and is just silly. For starters, the dynamics between the emotions make out like Riley is probably bipolar.
As a film that is based around the transition from childhood to adolescence, it is not a relatable or accurate portrayal. It seems to be saying that said transition must be accompanied by a loss of personality and an extreme set of emotions. Perhaps this is true for those suffering from bipolar or some other kind of emotional disorder, but I’ve definitely never experienced such things.
Another message of the film APPEARS to be ‘it’s ok to cry’, Sadness is not a good personification of this kind of release. Sadness just simmers under the surface, only turning up to call out for help, and never to actually release sadness. The film treats emotions as pesky little things which must be overpowered by Joy at all times, rather than being serious things that actually affect you.
The sexist emotions of the mother and father were also pretty lame as well. The mother is of course sad and in touch with her emotions. The father’s mind is led by Anger and watches sport all the time.
It’s watchable and looks pretty which gives it a couple of points, but with a truly awful message, it’s not a good film. The film encourages trading childhood innocence for a blank grown-up slate. It encourages to use your emotions to manipulate others and put on a false smile, rather than dealing with and accepting them. It’s a very simple film, so requires no real effort or thought, which means it’s an easy watch but it is eye-rollingly stupid most of the time.