Friday, June 26, 2015

Disney: Helping Us Be Healthier from the Inside Out

Rarely does my family spring for movies in the theatre. The cost for the five us to sit in a dark room for 1.5-2 hours is equal to that of our water bill for the month and can meet our World Vision child’s needs for two. This is a reality we don’t take lightly. Seeing movies in the theatre is a luxury.

When I saw that Disney was releasing Inside Out I instantly wanted to see it. The religion and psychology major in me took on life of its own, wondering how the film giant would present such an important topic.

We went opening weekend.

If you haven’t gone to the movie yet, fear not (ha, fear is a character), I’m won’t ruin it for you. You do, however, need to know that the main characters of the movie are essentially the emotions 11-year-old, Riley, experiences through a new move and other moments in life.

You are entertained by Riley’s story but you are touched by what is happening within.

Good Lord, this is a religion/psychology major’s dream.

Fear, sadness, joy, disgust and anger are the character emotions responding to the moments Riley’s living. Special past times, talents, and loves make up islands that are the pulse making her tick. Marbles representing which emotion is attached to an experience are stored to remind us that nothing in life is really lost.

My husband and I sat mesmerized right along with the kids. And, Disney has certainly perfected the art of entertaining adults so that we want to spend gobs of dollars to see it before Redbox. I’m not sure I’ve heard my husband laugh so hard in a film as when the dad emotions are in panic mode because his wife is giving him “the look.” If that isn’t humor capturing reality I don’t know what is.

The thing about our culture is we always want to have joy driving our experience. We want that for ourselves. And, we want it for the people around us. But, life is complicated and to only let on to confident joy is to not only discredit reality but it limits our ability to experience true joy.

This movie is profound in that it recognizes a lie of the human condition and sets the record straight with delightful animation.

Fear, disgust, and anger are real in our lives and okay to acknowledge. I always say if we have a God that created those emotions in us He is certainly powerful to help us through them. Disney demonstrated how these emotions might hinder a child (and adult for that matter) from trying something or, oppositely, do something unexpected. We see how this mishmash of feelings might be thrumming through the outwardly angry and in the quiet calm. But, my favorite take away, was sadness being a tie that binds. It actually propels new happiness.

Disney extended itself from making a family-friendly meaningful film to producing profound teaching.  I looked at my girls, eyes glued to the screen while stuffing their mouths with popcorn, and knew there would be take home value to this movie. It is okay not to be happy all the time and in naming the driving emotion I might just be better for it.

Since then my girls have been verbally identifying the emotions at play in different moments of life. They’ve been drawing them. They’ve been thinking more in depth about them without the stigma that something is wrong attached to them.

What if we didn’t say “How are you?” and expect the person to say, “Good. How are you?”

What if we were honest?

I think Inside Out gave us all the freedom to do just that.

Well done, Disney. You were totally worth the cost of my water bill.

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  1. Oh, now I'm dying to go see this... We haven't yet and usually I'm right on top of the Disney releases. Looks like I'm really missing out. Maybe it's time to go clear the schedule for a bit. - Jerusha,

  2. Looking forward to seeing it now, too! Thanks so much for sharing at the Homemaking Party. I wanted to let you know that I've started a weekend link up on my new blog, Big Family Frugal (.com) and would love to have you join me there, as well. It's up now and the new one starts every Friday.

    Hope you're having a great week!


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