I went to see this last week as a “field trip” with a client. We both loved it and it sparked some great conversation afterward.
Through the ups and downs of 11-year-old Riley’s life, we see the inner workings of emotions, subpersonalities, dominant and disowned selves. This is at the core of the Creative Journal Expressive Arts (CJEA) methods I use in my coaching practice. The animated scenes depicting the inner workings of the brain and emotional processing were very well portrayed and, if not 100% scientifically accurate, at the very least created a fabulous visual and metaphorical depiction.
During the course of the film, through Riley’s experience, we see how our “islands of personality”, dominant emotions/selves and disowned emotions/selves interact and respond to the situations in our lives. We also see how ultimately flexible these patterns are and how they shift over time.
Without spoiling the film if you haven’t seen it, my favorite thing about it was how the characters eventually come to understand that all of the emotions are equally valuable and necessary to full experience and wholeness. That is at the heart of the work I do.
This film is really well done. I give it a big thumbs up. I’ll be buying a copy when it’s available on DVD – it will be a great addition to my CJEA-related library.
Now, where’s the popcorn?
Here are some interesting links to other reviews and commentary on the film.