“There are days you’re going to feel sad, you’re going to feel angry, you’re going to feel scared. That’s nothing you can choose. But you can make stuff. Make films. Draw. Write. It will make a world of difference.”
The 88th Academy Awards took place last Sunday, celebrating and honoring the best films of 2015. Spotlight won Best Picture, Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) got Best Actor, Brie Larson (Room) won Best Actress and Chris Rock did what he could to make light of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. And here you can see Inside Out director Pete Docter (right) accepting the Oscar for Best Animated Feature alongside producer Jonas Rivera (left).
In some ways, you could think of Inside Out as a more modern and younger take on 90s TV sitcom Herman’s Head. We literally look inside the head of young Riley and we are introduced to her five personified emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. And as much as Joy is presented as the leader of the group — spoiler alert — we learn that all of her emotions are important and have their role. They, as a collective, make up who she is.
We all want to be happy and we want to be happy all the time. Unfortunately, that simply is not realistic. We can feel sad for no apparent reason or we might get angry for a very apparent reason. And that’s okay. We might even bring unhappiness upon ourselves. You shouldn’t set out to be miserable, to be sure, but you must also understand that experiencing the full range of emotions is healthy and normal.
What we can and should do is to channel all of that positive or negative energy into something creative. Explore your imagination and express the nuances of your inner world in whatever way works best for you. Some people like to write, others like to paint, and some might compose music. You could get crafty like Mr. Dressup. It doesn’t even need to be good or marketable, because there is intrinsic value in the very act of making something.
The thing you create, whatever it may be, becomes bigger than you. It will outlive you. It becomes a channel through which other people might find themselves or arrive at different interpretations.
In addition to Inside Out, Pete Docter also directed Up and Monsters, Inc.. He has writing credits for such animated films as WALL-E and Toy Story too. Docter has made a lot of beautiful stuff over the years and the world is decidedly better for it.