Pixar’s Inside Out introduced us to Riley, a young girl forced to uproot her life and move to the dreary, less colorful San Francisco with her mom and dad. This jarring moment is what throws her whole life out of whack and into a crumbling depression. Critics and audiences responded extremely well to the latest from the animation giant, but according to one parody, all of her problems are not really problems. They are merely privileged white people problems.
L.A.-based writer-director-performer Shirin Najafi created a short parody of Inside Out and the debilitating issues, like depression, that Hollywood supposedly makes light of in this film. Titled "Pixar Depression," the parody used the traditional depression commercial template and plays on the fact that Riley has loving parents, who are in the wealthier bracket of American society, and how her family can afford to move to a portion of San Fran that’s generally pretty pricey. Furthermore, "Pixar Depression" pokes fun at how the girl shuts down emotionally because her furniture hasn’t arrived yet and that her dad has to take a phone call on his smartphone instead of playing with her more.
In a statement posted in the comments section of the video, Najafi wrote how she felt the Inside Out storyline to be "narrow-minded and personally not relatable." She also writes how depression can have "no rhyme or reason," though some "experience it in ‘perfect’ circumstances from a genetic predisposition." Using this as her ammunition, she then states that the Pixar film portrays Riley’s depression as being brought on by "‘difficult’ circumstances.’" While also writing how 50% of children in the U.S. are raised in divorced homes, Najafi implies that Inside Out is another example of how Hollywood storytelling doesn’t properly portray these real-life trials.
Since published on June 30, the video has received close to 10,000 views (at the time this story was published), and Najafi has already earned herself quite a bit of detractors. Many commenters believe Najafi completely missed the point of Inside Out and how her own view in calling it narrow-minded is itself narrow-minded. A great deal more turned their attention to actual sufferers of depression and how this parody seems to put false labels on what it is, while making fun of a child’s (though be it a fictional child’s) issues. However, there are some who support her right to parody. One viewer praised her "wit and courage to mock the pretend version of actual depression," while others called it "brilliant" and told rich people with depression to kill themselves. (It is the Internet, after all.)
Regardless of which side you take, Inside Out bested both Terminator Genisys and Magic Mike XXL at the box office this past Fourth of July weekend, solidifying its status as another Pixar achievement.
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