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Riley Elphaba Andersen is one of the overarching protagonists of the 2015 Disney/Pixar film, Inside Out, and its 2024 sequel, Inside Out 2. She is an 11-year-old girl (later 12; 13 in the sequel) who loves hockey and other sports. She was uprooted from her happy and simple life in Minnesota, and taken to San Francisco, California, where she experiences various changes in her life. Her emotions are Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger, who will help her through this tough time. She is voiced by Kaitlyn Dias and by Kensington Tallman.


Places In Riley's Brain[]

  • Emotions' Headquarters - The main center where Riley's emotions operate.
  • Long Term Memory - All of Riley's life long memories, where it's easy to get lost.
  • Imagination Land - A theme park where Riley's imagination exists.
  • Dream Productions - A studio where Riley's dreams are made.
  • Train of Thought - A train that leads to any area in Riley's mind.
  • Cloud Town - Where Riley gets her head in the clouds.
  • Goofball Island - Where Riley is funny and goofy.
  • Hockey Island - Riley's island representing her love of hockey.
  • Friendship Island - Where Riley values friendship.
  • Honesty Island - Where Riley is honest.
  • Family Island - The island about Riley's family.



Riley's emotions contribute to her primary behaviors in the film. Overall, Riley is upbeat, honest, and goofy when she is content. However, at adolescence, Riley becomes more sentimental, a bit shy, and uncertain of herself as her other emotions begin appearing. By the time her family moves to San Francisco, she starts to be more troubled, irked, and lonely. Her emotions at this point try to help her get adjusted to the new life. Riley can second-guess herself, but she doesn't always repent her actions.

Riley really misses Minnesota and is unable to cope with the transition. However, Riley is afraid to tell her parents her true feelings on how they want her to accept the new home and because she has always been their "happy girl".

As time goes on, however, Riley becomes emotionally vulnerable, entering a sort of apathetic state of mind and coming to the point where she tries to run away, almost losing herself in the process. But it is here where she realizes that she had almost given up on the things that matter the most to her in life and realizes the risk just in time. Returning home and admitting to her parents that she's greatly depressed, she learns to accept San Francisco when her parents comfort her over the personal loss and Riley (with the guide of her emotions) eventually adapts to her new home.

Physical Appearance[]

In the first film, Riley is an 11-year-old preteen (later 12) with a slender figure. She has shoulder-length, dirty-blonde hair and cornflower-blue eyes. Both her parents have brown hair and brown eyes, implying that both the dirty-blonde hair and cornflower-blue eyes are recessive traits. She has very faint freckles around her nose, and she also has a noticeable gap between her two front teeth. In the second film, Riley is now 13-years-old. Her hair has grown longer, and she puts it up in a ponytail, just like her mother's. She also has braces on her teeth as well.

Riley is seen wearing a different outfit daily. When first shown in the teaser trailer, she wore a long-sleeved shirt with thin horizontal red, yellow, and light green zigzag lines, brown pants, and red Converse sneakers. When Riley arrived on her first day of school, she wore the same outfit but a yellow jacket. When Riley suffered a brain freeze, she wore a solid pink short-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, and green Converse sneakers. When arriving in San Francisco, she wore a long-sleeved rainbow shirt, blue jeans, and pink socks. Riley's pajamas consisted of a green short-sleeved shirt with blue trim featuring a koala bear on the front and dark blue sweatpants.

Role in the Film[]

Inside Out screenshot -

Riley is a major character in the film. Her mind is the main location of it and the main priority of the movie.

Riley won't eat broccoli

When Riley is first born, Joy, her first living emotion is conjured up and baby Riley is smiling right at her parents. A few seconds later, another emotion, named Sadness appears and makes Riley cry. Joy pushes Sadness out of the way and makes Riley happy again.

Over the years, Riley starts to grow up in Minnesota and her other emotions, Disgust, Anger, and Fear are born. Riley becomes happy and jolly pretty much all the time and hardly sad at all. Because of her happiness and joy, Joy unintentionally mistreats Sadness. She also becomes one of the best players on her hockey team.

When it is time for Riley and her parents to move to San Francisco, Riley becomes sad and misses her life in Minessota. When school starts, Riley starts to go from joyous and happy to sentimental and a bit depressed, on account of she misses the good old days in Minnesota. Joy does all she can to prevent this from happening. Things go from bad to worse when Sadness accidentally humiliates Riley by making her sob in front of the class.

When Joy and Sadness literally get lost in Riley's mind, the others try to keep Riley's head on straight, but it causes Riley's mind to go out of whack, but it also helps with the changes in Riley's life.


Bandicam 2015-06-06 15-13-16-188
  • Riley is the first Pixar character to be a location.
  • In the teaser trailer, Riley with her mom and dad are eating from Chinese food boxes of the same type as the one seen in A Bug's Life and several other Pixar films.
  • In said teaser trailer, the playground seen in Riley's Memory Orbs is the playground from Sunnyside Daycare in Toy Story 3.
  • Both of Riley's parents have brown hair and brown eyes, suggesting her blonde hair and blue eyes were inherited recessively.
  • Riley is the only character so far known to have emotions of different genders. Her mother's emotions are all female, and her father's are all male.
  • Riley's yelling after refusing to eat her broccoli when she was two is actually a re-used recording of Boo's shouting from Monsters, Inc.
    • Coincidentally, both of these films were directed by Pete Docter.
    • Riley is a similar to Kenai from Disney's Brother Bear.


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