Home Movies The Psychology Behind Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ Has Been Explained, And Its Pretty...

The Psychology Behind Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ Has Been Explained, And Its Pretty Crazy


Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ is a complex idea disguised as a family film in that charming Disney style. It will make you laugh, make you think, and all while entertaining the kids for it’s duration.

The basic story centres around Riley, an 11-year old girl going through a major change in her life by moving cross-country with her parents.

Arguably the main characters live in her head, her emotions; Fear, Joy, Sadness, Disgust and Anger. All who are experiencing the same uprooting as her and trying to figure it out all while attempting to keep her happy.


While in the fictional world her emotions take the form of characters, it turns out video analyst Evan Puschak has pointed out the truth in the psychology behind the film.

A guest referenced in the video, psychologist Paul Ekman, says that we have seven not five separate emotions (the ones in the film, plus surprise and contempt) and everything experience is a mixture of these emotions.


The driving message in the film is that sadness is very important in normal life. Although people can be somewhat encouraged to hide their emotions we have learnt in recent history that this is not healthy and it is important to let yourself express what your brain feels regardless of circumstance.


Critics have said that Inside Out can at times oversimplify the idea of emotion, sometimes for example we can have conflicting emotions and laugh even though we feel sad, but at the end of the day its a family film, and a darn good one.

You can watch Evan Puschak discuss these theories in full below:

Let those tears flow.