This week I watched a video essay about the Pixar movie Inside Out. It seemed fitting to see someone else’s videographic work on the same film that I worked on for one of my projects. This video essay specifically looked at the history of the “struggle” between reason and emotions, and the actual complexity and nuance of emotions in general. Ultimately this video essay goes on to say that Inside Out shows characters that learn to embrace their emotions as opposed to “master” them like people have done in the past. One interesting thing about this video essay is that it delved into the actual past of emotions and reason, looking at some of the historical relevance of the messages of the movie Inside Out. Another important aspect of this video essay is that it discusses where the movie got its psychological theory from, and why this theory is both effective but also limited. I think that looking into the history of the movie topics is an important aspect of understanding why movies are made. I haven’t used a lot of historical information for any of my video essays so far, and it was really interesting to see it used so effectively. By hearing what theories the movie based its ideas on, I gained a better understanding of why the characters functioned in the way they did, and also why this movie was made when it was. Essentially I understood, that at this time in US culture, there has been a lot more recent talk about emotions, their complexity, and the importance of accepting and experiencing emotions to potentially live a healthier life. Before there was more pressure to suppress and “master” one’s emotions so as to let reason be peoples’ only driving force in life decisions.
Another important element to this video essay, is that the creator clearly targets a larger audience, and asks questions that anyone might have of his videos. The best example from this video essay is the moment where the creator feels the need to specify that Inside Out is a kid’s movie. While kid’s movies can contain complex ideas and teach kids valuable lessons, the creator felt the need to also point out that this movie was also designed to be fun and family friendly. I think that proposing points and questions like this throughout a video essay can actually make arguments ultimately stronger, because acknowledging the extent of an argument shows true understanding.
In terms of craft, I think this video essay included some interesting graphic elements, and a few other sources besides the actual film. There were times when the video essayist would include a colorful Inside Out themed background with either photos of psychologists, or characters from the movie. The video essayist also included images of the brain to help explain emotions and where they actually occur. These images were really useful in helping to explain the actual biology and psychology of emotions in comparison to looking at the representation in Inside Out. I also think that the rest of the graphic elements that were used in this video essay aided each of the points and ultimately contributed to each point.