A-to-Z Challenge (2016 edition): I is for Inside Out

It’s April A-to-Z month! Interested in signing up? Unfortunately it’s too late. I know! But even if it it, check out the 1500+ bloggers signed up and striving to complete this month-long challenge. They need YOU to cheer them on!

Once again doing movie reviews this year and TL;DR but I’m going to break down the plot using Mary Carroll Moore’s W-story structuring method. Don’t know what the W stands for? Check out Ms. Moore’s video explanation here.

Disclaimer: This is MY version of a plot break down. You might decide I’m entirely wrong and spewing nonsense, and that’s cool. It’s all relative.


My ‘I’ movie was also another one I wanted to watch: Inside Out. I’m really glad I did! I LOVED this movie. Genius~ And the writer(s) chose a plot based around an experience that children and adults could relate to, if not at the least appreciate the MC, Riley’s struggle with her moving.

Let’s break down this fun, clever story!

anime food cooking cutting hamtaro

Triggering event: Riley’s family moves to San Francisco and it throws a loop for her emotions/HQ.

Setting up the problem: Nothing seems to be going right (i.e moving van gets lost, the pizza is bad in the city, and she’s not having fun at school); Joy and Sadness get lost and sucked up from HQ to long-term memory. Now they have to find their way back because the other three emotions screw up everything.

Turning point #1: Anger, Fear and Disgust are trying to hold the fort for the leader Joy pretending to  be here but they’re breaking all of the other islands causing them to crumble into the abyss of Forgotten memories.

Recovering from the problem: Anger, Fear and Disgust are more of a bandage and they need Joy to return to fix everything as the changes effect the map of Riley’s mind.

Mid-point: Joy and Sadness are on the train heading back to HQ to save the day and bring Joy back.

Deepening of the problem: Anger, Disgust and Fear decide to plug in an idea that includes giving Riley the idea to run away. All of the islands crumble, save Family Island which is crumbling away quickly as Riley runs away to head back to Minnesota.

Turning point #2: Joy pushes Sadness away and plans to go alone to protect the joyous core memories. Joy falls into the pit where forgotten memories go to disappear forever

Resolving of the problem/Climax: Studying the other core memories, Joy realizes that Sadness and the other emotions have to work as a team, and that’s how life operates. They activate Bing Bong’s rocket and they keep trying a total of three times until they reach the surface. Bing Bong falls behind and Joy goes alone — signalling that Riley has forgotten her imaginary friend for good. Joy has to find sadness and convince her to come back.

Resolution: Joy and Sadness work as a team — as do all other emotions working in tandem; Riley feels both sad about the change, but Joy also works because she’s comforted by her parents and together they build a new Family island. Now there’s a bunch of islands as Riley grows up and gets used to life in San Francisco (new lands include: Fashion Island, Tragic Vampire Romance Island).

The ending credits were the best! Lol at Jangles the clown…hahaha and the road rage from the bus driver. And the dog and the cat…ahahaha.

Have you watched this one? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? It won’t disappoint!

4 thoughts on “A-to-Z Challenge (2016 edition): I is for Inside Out

  1. I haven’t seen the film but I believe it is excellent. I will see it, at some stage. I love how you break down the story .. the themes are relevant in our own lives. Thank you!


  2. Marna, I am copying your posts into a single document. You are giving us a workshop extraordinaire. Your examples are spot on, and reinforcing the elements from different perspectives is really helpful to learn what you are teaching. This must have taken you FOREVER to prep! Thanks for the hard work!
    Sharon Arthur Moore @good2tweat
    Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time


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