While rewatching Inside Out with my daughters, the question of Riley’s emotions came up. It’s one I’d thought of when the movie first came out, but now my children are old enough to start questioning more in the movies.
The question was about the mixed genders as Riley’s emotions. When you look at Riley’s parents, her mom’s emotions are all women and her dad’s emotions are all men. When you look at the teenage boy who wants to date Riley at the end, all of his emotions are teenage boys, too.
And yet, Riley has mixed genders. Why could that be?
Inside Out could suggest Riley is gender-neutral
My 11-year-old came up with a great theory with her friends. They decided that there’s a chance Riley is gender-neutral. She could even be gender-fluid. Inside Out was made ahead of the big push for inclusion that we’ve seen now, but then Pixar has always tried to be somewhat ahead of the curve on life and discussions about growing up.
This isn’t a topic that comes up in conversation, though. Riley is just a preteen who is handling a big move to a place she doesn’t want to be in. She’s handling the mixture of emotions as she grows up. There’s a chance that if Inside Out 2 was made, it could be as Riley reaches puberty and tries to figure out her sexuality and her gender.
It’s also possible that when younger, everyone had mixed genders. As puberty hits, the genders could start to change. The boy who wants to date Riley could have already seen that change in his emotions with puberty hitting. However, I do like the idea that Riley is gender-neutral or even gender-fluid.
It is worth noting that Pixar may not have thought everything through and just decided to create the artwork. We just know that Pixar isn’t really a studio that does things like this by accident.
Inside Out is available to stream on Disney+.