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Inside Out

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What it’s about:

When 11-year-old Riley moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, the once happy Midwesterner feels scared, alone, and out-of-control. As she adjusts to her new school and community, she’s confronted with feelings of fear, joy, anger, and sadness.

Riley’s emotions — led by Joy — try to steer her through the life-changing event. But the stress of the move brings Sadness to the forefront. When Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind, the only emotions left in Headquarters are Anger, Fear and Disgust.

Names you might know:

Riley’s emotions have familiar voices.  Joy is voiced by Amy Poehler, Sadness is Phyllis Smith (The Office), Disgust is Mindy Kaling, Fear is Bill Hader, and Anger is the voice of Lewis Black.

Why it’s worth your time:

If you’re looking for ways to help your kids — or yourself — manage pandemic anxiety and transitions, Inside Out is a movie worth watching. Through her journey, Riley teaches us how to name and manage big emotions, as well as how to handle uncertainty.

The takeaway:

With so many of us facing unfamiliar, anxiety-ridden situations, we may try to keep these feelings at bay. Inside Out reminds us all why it’s important to acknowledge our emotional experiences. As it turns out, doing so can spark insight and help us cope with change.

Watch it with:

Anyone interested in learning about resilience and the immeasurable value of emotional intelligence. Inside Out can serve as a useful prompt for families, friends, and couples to discuss how they view happiness, handle tough emotions, and resolve conflict.  The movie is therapeutic as well as entertaining.

Worth noting:

Inside Out is a movie for the entire family, but children under the age of 6 may have difficulty grasping the concept. For any child who’s weathered a recent move or loss, the movie may bring up memories and conversations about their experience. With kids adapting to all the changes the pandemic has created, Inside Out may also help parents address how disruptions can impact our daily lives.

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