The film is set in the mind of a young girl, Riley Anderson (Kaitlyn Dias), where five personified emotions—Joy (Amy Poehler), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith)—try to lead her through life as she moves with her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) to a new city.

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islands of rileyIf you have ever had a pre-teen you would marvel at how on the mark this move is.

A girl named Riley is born in Minnesota, and in her mind, five manifestations of her emotions—Joy, Sadness, Fear,Disgust, and Anger—come to life. The emotions live in Headquarters, Riley’s conscious mind, where they influence Riley’s actions and memories via a control console. Her new memories are housed in colored spheres, which are sent into storage at the end of every waking period. The most important memories, known as “core memories”, are housed in a hub in Headquarters and power five “islands” that each reflect a different aspect of Riley’s personality. Joy takes charge of the emotions to keep Riley in a happy state, but she is uncertain of Sadness’s purpose and keeps her isolated from the other memories, concerned by Sadness’s ability to alter happy memories into sad ones.

When Riley is eleven years old, her family relocates to San Francisco after her father gets a new job. On Riley’s first day at her new school, Sadness inadvertently makes her cry in front of her class, creating a new, sad core memory. Joy attempts to dispose of the new memory before it reaches the central hub, but her struggle with Sadness over it leads to all the core memories being knocked from their hub and shutting down the personality islands. Before Joy can put them back, she, Sadness, and the core memories are sucked out of Headquarters through the memory tube leading to the rest of Riley’s mind. They end up in the labyrinthine storage area of Riley’s long-term memories, and begin to journey back to Headquarters.

Well,  after this happens, the movie moves along at a great speed that makes you not only lose track of time, but has you completely invested in her “emotion” ambassadors  making it back. You even mourn the loss of her personality islands. It’s a fond reminder that we are all changing everyday.

It’s a fun conversational romp that will encourage to spend a little more time with the little person in your life. Get ready  to set your own memory orbs on high when you see this one!

Should you see it? Yes. It’s a fun summer movie that will either make you recall childhood memories or it will make you treasure your children’s young moments longer. At the end look for the set up for the sequel. It’s quick but you will appreciate it!

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