Who Is the Real Villain in Disney Pixar’s Inside Out?

Who Is the Real Villain in Disney Pixar's Inside Out?

Last year, I published, The Real Villain In Disney’s Frozen: The Parents Of Elsa & Annawhere I explained that the villain’s role is to introduce and move along the plot. Had Elsa and Anna’s parents not foolishly kept their daughters from socializing after the incident, basically keeping one daughter locked in her bedroom, things wouldn’t have gotten so out of hand.

The whole Frozen movie could have been much shorter. Seriously, what the parents did in that movie was not normal. In real life, if you knew parents who did what their parents did, you wouldn’t simply pass it off as, “Oh well, no parent is perfect.”

I figured it would be interesting to do my same “who is the real villain?” analysis on Disney Pixar’s Inside Out.

The answer: Riley’s brain; which also serves as the hero.

Notice how in this movie, no other human beings seem to really serve as any kind of of antagonist.

Even when that might seem the case, it’s actually just Riley (and her brain) that makes things worse.

The emotion of Sadness serves as a sort of false antagonist, but it becomes clear that even she is truly part of the hero team inside Riley’s head.

Who Is the Real Villain in Disney Pixar's Inside Out?

In fact, the plot line of Inside Out is actually pretty simple: An 11 year-old old encounters minor psychological and emotion challenges as she moves with her family from Minnesota to California. That’s it- that’s all that really happens.

She misses home.

They aren’t any bullies at her new school. Her parents are completely supportive and loving.

In fact, Inside Out is one of the few Disney movies (ever!) in which both parents are alive and well the entire movie!


I was completely satisfied with Inside Out. The movie really impressed me. I recommend it to anyone.

Inside Out does a perfect job of bringing an interesting adult concept (psychology) and turning it into a warm, smart family movie.

And when you see it, keep in mind what I said: The only villain in this movie is the hero as well: Riley’s brain.





3 thoughts on “Who Is the Real Villain in Disney Pixar’s Inside Out?

  1. Beautiful animation. Just when you think animation has reached perfection someone takes a step further into realism. Cute story. Everything you pointed out about sadness and joy coexisting 🙂


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