It all starts with Riley, an infant born with no emotions. Until she opens her eyes and sees her loving mother and father. As the first and primary emotion, Joy appears. Followed shortly after by sadness. Joy and sadness struggle at first to find a peaceful balance between them. From the beginning it is pretty clear that the two emotions are polar opposites, and cannot work as a team to benefit Riley together. Not to mention Joy is kind of a control freak. But who could blame her for wanting to be the dominant emotion in all of Riley's memories??
As Riley grows up, a few new emotions come into play. Fear, Disgust, and Anger. Fear keeps Riley cautious and more aware of her surroundings, disgust is a little stuck up and snarky, and anger is easily set off. (Obviously.) These are all important components of Riley's psychological makeup. Progressing further into her childhood, Riley comes into contact with her own life experiences that form into their own islands. These individual islands are also key elements that help make her who she is.
With Family Island being the largest, the movie suggests that having a strong family bond is the most important to Riley
Watch the movie to know what the other islands of personality there are!
But what happens when an event occurs that changes your life, and your memories..?
When Riley's core memories become in jeopardy, her mental stability and positive demeanor start to falter...in an attempt to set things right, Joy and Sadness are forced to team up with the same goal in mind. Riley's happiness.
By combining the inner workings of the human psyche with real, relatable life experiences, this movie hits you in every feel there is. Well, if you have all of your feelings that is.
This film has so many points where it compels you to look deeper, while seeing things in a whole new perspective. Clever psychological correlations between the human brain and its cognitive processes and abilities are also added to bring the movie even more in depth than it already is. This movie quite metaphorically will blow your mind with its use of creative and imaginative twists and turns that take the audience into into the multidimensional world of the human psyche.
There are some strong emotionally tied messages that are embedded in this movie. Some aren't as easily noticeable as others... Get ready for a spoiler.
Among the the various plot twists, Joy and Sadness discover that they can actually work together as a team to benefit Riley, and as strange as that seems, Sadness plays a major role in Riley's mental stability as well. It is both a harmonious yet tragic realization. It starts off on a light, joyous note, you would never expect for Pixar to be able to bring it to such a place. A place we knew existed, but could only make sense of it in science terms. What we know is there, but are able to finally see it with fresh eyes for the first time.
The movie has received two nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Animated Film. Not even surprised. It's brilliant all around and is without a doubt, one of the best animated films of the year. In addition to the colorful array of actors and actresses that made this movie possible, they really went above and beyond for this one. I'd call that a goal for Team Pixar.