101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far)

Originating with Pete Docter’s observations about the emotional life of his preteen daughter, Inside Out attempts nothing less than mapping the psychological makeup of a human being still in the process of being formed. Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen established the premise of five personified emotions working as a team to help young protagonist Riley navigate life. Then Meg LeFauve joined the process to help build a viable narrative, adding recollections from her youth. As LeFauve told IndieWire in 2016, “When Riley comes home and says, ‘You want me to be happy but I’m not,’ that’s what I wanted to say to my parents when I was eleven.’” This being a Pixar endeavor, Inside Out juxtaposes profundities with frenetic action and shrewd jokes—as when the emotion Sadness shares that “crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life’s problems.”