This 'Inside Out' theory will make that super devastating scene less heart-breaking
Pixar’s newest movie, Inside Out, is a movie full of emotions, literally. You’ll meet Joy and Sadness, and these two heroines will actually make you laugh and cry. There’s one other character who will make you feel the same way, and his name is Bing Bong. Oh, Bing Bong. You can probably guess where this is going. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, stop reading, because there are spoilers ahead.
Quick show of hands, who’s still crying about Bing Bong? Everyone? Seems about right. In Inside Out, along with the emotions inside Riley’s head, she’s also got a pink half-elephant, half-dolphin, all-cotton-candy imaginary friend, named Bing Bong. He’s your friend who likes to play! He’s also your friend who will sacrifice himself to save the day, which is what he does in the final act of the movie. Bing Bong lets himself fade away, allowing Joy escape from the Memory Dump on his red wagon, with one final, “take her to the moon for me!” because that’s what Riley and Bing Bong planned to do. Fly to the moon in his song-powered wagon, and oh gosh, the Bing Bong tears are REAL.
With this Bing Bong story in mind, let’s take a quick trip back to the theory that all Pixar movies are connected. Jon Negroni has an amazing theory that all the films seamlessly fit into one another, from Toy Story to Brave, and now, Inside Out. The whole theory is worth a read, and will better help you understand how Inside Out fits into it, too. Ready for the short and sweet version?
Bing Bong, while still an imaginary friend, is one that Riley kept in the back of her mind because he started off as her nighttime MONSTER. As in, a monster from Monstroplis hanging out with Sulley and Mike Wazowski. As Riley grew up, Negroni writes, she still “[remembered] him after all this time because he felt so real to her, so he became her imaginary friend.”
Negroni’s Pixar theory explains that Monsters Inc. actually takes place in the future, and Bing Bong met Riley after it was discovered that laughter is more powerful than screams (because, Pixar time travel). Bing Bong’s not a scary monster, and is instead here to make Riley laugh with his candy tears, and also plan vacations to the moon. Makes sense.
Bottom line: Bing Bong LIVES. Somewhere off in the Pixar future, he’s still around. He’s not completely gone, just gone from Riley’s memory. Hopefully this makes the Bing Bong feels sting a little bit less. HOORAY.
(Image via Disney/Pixar.)