Inner Workings in true Disney fashion

NKD Reviews: Disney’s Inner Workings

In 2016, Disney made a short film titled Inner Workings, reminding us all to check in with ourselves and our purpose a little more.

Disney’s Inner Workings is an unexpected call to arms about finding joy and purpose in the everyday.

In Inner Workings, Paul works a humdrum office job at the aptly named “Boring, Boring & Glum” in 1980s California. The film shows Paul’s “inner workings” and the conflict between his brain and his heart as he tries to navigate through his world of work and the exciting, sunny Californian setting.

In true Disney fashion, Paul’s brain is caricaturised as a grumpy purple block, and his heart as a bouncy energetic red blob. Throughout the film, Paul’s brain constantly steers Paul towards a boring and mundane existence by catastrophizing the outcome of everything Paul does – when Paul looks longingly at the beach, his heart springs into action and is ready to dive in. But, his brain prevents the joyous activity from happening after imagining Paul being eaten up by a shark and landing in an early tomb.

As Paul’s brain continues to squash his heart’s energy and exuberance, the colour and brightness of Paul’s world fades. His world becomes grey and lit only by the dreary green glow of his computer screen – something which might hit home for many people.

Without giving away any spoilers (although I’m sure you can work out how it ends!), Paul’s brain has an epiphany and surrenders some of his power over to Paul’s heart. The film ends with a cute montage of Paul’s new lease on life, complete with a catchy song by Ludwig Göransson, California Loco.

Image of animated characters
This image is the property of Disney Pixar.

Now, you could dismiss this film as over-simplifying the constant struggle between head and heart.

You could dismiss this film as being “just for kids”.

You could dismiss this film as misrepresenting the world of work for data analysts.

But actually, the simplicity of its message is refreshing – we work better when our heads and our hearts work together!

  • If you’re overly cautious and always catastrophizing about situations, you’re missing out on some wonderful experiences. Try being a little more free-spirited and live in the moment!

  • If you’re worried about what others think of you, you’re blocking yourself from truly shining. Try to be a little more courageous!

  • If you’re stuck in an uninspiring world of work, you’re missing out on being connected to a worthwhile purpose. Try to brighten up your day by doing something differently!

Don’t wait until your inner workings start working against each other to make the change. Get in touch with us to help connect your employees’ brains and hearts, and to make their world of work a better, more ‘Disney’ place for all!