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"We can't focus on what's going wrong, there's always a way to turn things around."
- Joy, telling Sadness to have faith
Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) is the main protagonist of the movie, Inside Out. She is one of five emotions, belonging to Riley – the others being Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. As an optimist, Joy often finds herself in the pickle of conflicting feelings, having to live with four other pessimistic feelings, and as a result, Joy is seen as the "leader" of the other emotions.
Joy has a lot to learn about the outside world, and she is often halted by the other emotions from embarrassing Riley. The emotions often run into conflicting ideas, and Joy generally fixes these troubling ideas.
Joy's goal has always been to make sure Riley stays happy. She is lighthearted, optimistic and determined to find the fun in every situation. Joy sees challenges in Riley's life as opportunities, and the less happy moments as hiccups on the way back to something great. As long as Riley is happy, so is Joy.
As her name suggests, Joy is the optimistic emotion in the group. She is seen to possess blue eyes and hair, and obtains a green dress, in which she compliments herself with. With the other emotions, Joy's adventures derive from the outside world, specifically Riley, along with her mother and father, moving from Minnesota to San Francisco.
Joy meets many new people inside the outer world of Riley's mind, and together, they assist Joy and Sadness get back to the headquarters and fix Riley's decision of running back to Minnesota.
At times, Joy gets carried away with keeping Riley content, and disregards the other emotions. Sadness and Joy have an on-and-off relationship, in which Joy mistreats Sadness because of her lack of knowledge as to why Sadness is needed. Over time, Joy realizes this and decides to let the emotions do their job.
Joy is first seen in Inside Out as one of five emotions, set inside the mind of Riley. She is regarded as the "leader of the group". She is the first emotion to appear, and immediately admires Riley as an infant. Over the years, Joy meets and befriends fellow brothers and sisters, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust, and together, they control Riley's mind.
Joy exclaims that it's going to be a great life, which is contrasted by the abrupt midshot of their home being sold to the market. Joy promptly claims that this wasn't what she had in mind. On the way to their new house, Joy uses the journey as an opportunity to predict what their new house would like. Joy, and the other emotions, agree and disagree on their new house. Not long after their discussion, the family arrives to their new abode, only to perceive a terribly-looking house.
Anger, Fear, and Disgust complain about the house not living up to the standards, while Joy opts to examine the insides of the home, only to have it dusty, and unclean. Nevertheless, Joy decides to see Riley's new room, and to her dismay, it's extremely small. Joy abruptly has an idea as to how Riley can utilize the space she has, and together with the other four emotions, they build up their dream room.
Not too long afterwards, Riley's father has to leave to go to the investment, leaving Riley and her mother behind.
Riley's First Date?
Joy is set to appear in Disney INFINITY's third installment as a playable character.
- According to Pete Docter, her appearance is based on that of a star.
- Joy is the second female protagonist in a Pixar movie, with the first being Merida.
- There are several things that make Joy stand out from the other emotions:
- She's the only emotion not wearing shoes.
- She's the only emotion that glows.
- She's the only emotion whose hair and eye color isn't the same as her theme color.
- She's the only emotion not wearing pants.
- Despite being happy and jolly, she is mean to Sadness, because she doesn't want Riley being sad, even when she needs to be.
- Joy has a habit of talking to herself. This was shown when she was excited for Riley's first day of school.
- "Pixar's 'Inside Out' Official Character Descriptions" - Stitch Kingdom (March 20, 2015). Retrieved November 22, 2015.