Riley's Consciousness of the Irreversibility of Time in Inside Out

In Pete Docter’s Inside Out (2015), Bing Bong woefully watches his "rocket" fall into the dump and laments, "Once we traveled back in time. We had breakfast twice that day." Though seeming to be a throwaway remark at first, the line is more resonate due to the imagined subject of time travel alluded to there.

  • This is a cool deep read into that line. The way Bing Bong lamented it, that bittersweet feeling (I was choking up) of time's relentless finality is what audiences resonated with (mostly all adult). I think the motif of the memory spheres is something interesting to think about in this case. In a way, the preservation of those core moments in Riley's life are the preservation of time itself, despite its finality. Time, to the Emotions, I think could be this subjective context where the idea is that the way they understand Time is different from, or maybe even accumulates into, Riley's understanding of time as a human being. Different how? Not entirely sure.... but I think there's some value in determining whether or not the irreversability of time is understood the same way between Riley and the Emotions. Joy can freely replay, choose, and save the memories she thinks Riley needs or wants (which results in the process of memory recall in her head) - could that be considered a way of getting around time's finality? Does memory serve as the one way out of time's shadow over our process of growing up? – thebrobster 9 years ago
  • I think the line is particularly powerful as well because it refers to a state in childhood where we think we'll never grow up, that time never stops, or that things will go on this way forever. When we look back as adults, we long for this carefree moment in our lives. Bing Bong was the physical manifestation of childhood, as one of its markers, an imaginary friend. **SPOILER** When he disappears we realize that Riley is growing up, and that she will never go back to that period in her life. It's a marker that her childhood is gone, and she is entering adolescence. As much as we want to go back in time and bring back Bing Bong, he is lost forever. We cannot travel back in time. – Emilie Medland-Marchen 9 years ago

Want to write about Animation or other art forms?

Create writer account