There are at this time two questions about Inside Out (one directly about it, one relating it to Toy Story):

Do Andy and Riley live in the same world?


How is this movie on-topic? To me it's off-topic: it's certainly not Sci Fi, and to me it's clearly not meant to be taken as literal Fantasy. The little dudes "living" inside people's heads are the metaphorical personification of actual emotions, and we are supposed to believe this is the actual world, just with a quirky way of giving the audience insight into other people's heads.

  • It has been brought to my attention that the first question could actually be considered about Toy Story, which is on-topic. This would only leave the second question as blatantly off-topic. – Andres F. Jul 28 '15 at 15:15

I'm going to say no. Wikipedia describes it as a "3D computer-animated comedy-drama" and IMDB categorises it as "Animation, Adventure, Comedy".

There's no specific reason to assume that the little people inside her head are literally there, as opposed to metaphorically.

The film's director backs up this assertion;

At the 2013 Siggraph convention, Pete Docter said the story was "one of the most challenging I've ever had to put together", because the film has to tell simultaneously what is happening to Riley and what is happening inside her mind.[33]

Docter has insisted the film's setting is independent from the biological, physical reality of the brain, and that it is rather set in the mind, with a more metaphysical, abstract viewpoint

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    can we migrate those to over to M&TV? – KutuluMike Jul 25 '15 at 22:40
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    Wait. You answered this question? And are getting rep of it and are voting to close it? And now want to migrate it? Hypocrisy much? – user20155 Jul 25 '15 at 23:34
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    not that I don't appreciate your answer. But at least be consistent. – user20155 Jul 25 '15 at 23:34
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    @LegoStormtroopr - I don't see that there's any hypocrisy here. I'm perfectly happy to accept the will of the community on this one. – Valorum Jul 25 '15 at 23:43
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    Eh. I'm fine with this argument. Can you just delete the question, out delete your answer so I can. – user20155 Jul 25 '15 at 23:45
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    @LegoStormtroopr - No. This question has an upvoted answer. Deleting it would be self-vandalism which the community frowns upon. – Valorum Jul 25 '15 at 23:46
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    So, the community doesn't want it here. But as the asker I can't do anything about it? – user20155 Jul 25 '15 at 23:48
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    @LegoStormtroopr - If the consensus of opinion is that it's not on-topic, I'm happy to close it without migration. What I'm not happy to do is arbitrarily delete it when it has upvoted answers. The system prevents you from doing so for a specific reason – Valorum Jul 25 '15 at 23:51
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    @LegoStormtroopr - This site is supposed to be more or less democratic, and we have to accept what the community decides. Frankly, I don't see why it should bother you so much. What's the difference whether you follow the answers on SF&F or M&TV? The question is a good one, so it would be foolish to delete it simply because you don't want to click on the "Movies and Television" SE link. Deleting it would also be unfair to the people who have already answered it. They deserve their rep. Moving it to M&TV is the most logical option. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jul 25 '15 at 23:55
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    I chose to ask it here, not on M&TV. If people want to close it here, fine. If someone else wants to ask it there, fine. – user20155 Jul 25 '15 at 23:56
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    @LegoStormtroopr - Migration is one of the things that you agreed to when you joined. "If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you." – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jul 26 '15 at 0:06
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    @LegoStormtroopr - Can I ask you why this is such a problem for you? I don't want you to leave, and I genuinely don't understand why you care so much about which community the question appears on. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jul 26 '15 at 0:10
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    @LegoStormtroopr - Why not come over to chat to talk this through? Your site contributions are very welcome and it pains me to see you getting upset over this. – Valorum Jul 26 '15 at 0:10
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    @LegoStormtroopr To be honest, I didn't expect this to cause such a problem. I consider your question good, just unsuitable for scifi.se. Fortunately, there are other stackexchange sites where it's on-topic. Seriously, don't take this personal, you're a valuable user here. – Andres F. Jul 26 '15 at 0:18
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    @jmoreno - That's certainly one perspective. Why not write it up as an answer and see if the community agrees? – Valorum Aug 3 '15 at 6:00

The premise of the film appears to be "fantasy" only in the sense that it is not strictly realistic. However, if we define "fantasy" this way, almost everything can be considered on topic here.

The Simpsons are yellow and have 4 digits per hand. The baby is still a baby after 26 years of the show. The city of Springfield is said to border on Ohio, Nevada, Maine, and Kentucky (Ohio and Kentucky actually do share a border, but Nevada and Maine are hundreds of miles away from either). Homer has caused several nuclear meltdowns, but is still the safety inspector of a nuclear power plant. This is not realistic.

The old TV show Murder She Wrote was set in a small New England town, but someone was murdered there every week1. The local police force was incapable of solving the crimes, and instead of hiring more detectives, they asked a local mystery writer to do their jobs for them - every week. The townspeople didn't have a problem with the incompetence of their police force, nor did they complain about having the highest per capita murder rate in the country. This is not realistic.

However, neither of these shows can be considered as true "fantasy". Wikipedia defines the fantasy genre as follows:

Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary plot element, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic and magical creatures are common.

The Oxford Dictionary largely agrees with this description:

A genre of imaginative fiction involving magic and adventure, especially in a setting other than the real world.

This definition would appear to suggest that neither The Simpsons, nor Murder She Wrote, nor Inside Out fit the criteria for fantasy.

It seems even less likely that Inside Out could be considered "science fiction". Again, Wikipedia defines the science fiction genre as follows:

Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life. It usually eschews the supernatural, and unlike the related genre of fantasy, its imaginary elements are largely plausible within the scientifically established context of the story.

And again, the Oxford Dictionary largely agrees:

Fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.

Although Inside Out appears to include a fantastic conceit - i.e., the portrayal of emotions as actual, personified entities - it doesn't seem to fit either of the categories relevant to this site.

As the question has already been answered by several people, and those answers have attracted upvotes, it would be unfair to delete it out of spite, and thereby deprive users of well-earned reputation increases. The best option is clearly to migrate the questions to the Movies and Television SE site.

1 The show is set in the fictional town of Cabot Cove, which was based on Kennebunkport, Maine. Kennebunkport has a population of 3,500 people. The series lasted for 12 years, at 13 episodes per season, which would have killed off about 160 people, or nearly 5% of the population.

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    I always thought there was something suspicious about Jessica Fletcher. – Valorum Jul 25 '15 at 23:57

If Inside Out is neither Science Fiction nor Fantasy, then logically neither is , , , , , and various others, none of which contain the hallmarks of either science fiction of fantasy as defined by @WadCheber in their answer.

I would argue that our collective acceptance of the above (particularly the , which is as grounded in reality as a superhero film can get) should mean that we keep Inside Out (and by extension, most other Pixar films that can be said to contain fantastical elements) as on-topic.

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    While grounded in reality, batman is a superhero from a generally sf/f work (this relates to the unfinished discussions about tarzan in chat yesterday). Sonic The Hedgehog games also start veering heavily with giant robots, aliens, magic stones, and genetically engineered characters. clockwork orange largely fits from the dystopian sf future. animal farm should never have been allowed. toy story and kung fu panda, i'd largely agree with you on as well. – phantom42 Jul 28 '15 at 14:48
  • Indeed, given that the entirely non-SciFi Dark Knight trilogy is on-topic here, practically everything should actually be on-topic in turn. One admittedly can't argue with that deduction. ;-) (Of course another deduction would probably be that neither the Nolan Batman films nor Toy Story would be on-topic, but that would be the other way around, I guess.) – TARS says Reinstate Monica Jul 28 '15 at 14:50
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    @phantom42 My point is that in reality, despite what the name of the site would imply, Sci Fi Stack Exchange has in reality turned into Stack Exchange for "cool nerdy stuff", which Pixar definitely falls into. We can either change this by being more strict about what is and is not on-topic (something that would help out other, less popular Stack Exchanges such as "Movies and TV" or "Anime"), or we can embrace it. – Dr R Dizzle Jul 28 '15 at 14:57
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    I heavily disagree with both premises. a- I don't want scifi.se to turn into "cool & nerdy stuff". b- most of the stuff you list is either scifi or fantasy: (continued in another comment) – Andres F. Jul 28 '15 at 15:10
  • (con'td) Toy Story: fantasy (while it has allegorical connotations, the toys do move and talk). Batman: fantasy/scifi mix; also Batman lives in a decidedly unrealistic universe which he shares with an alien hero, and uses futuristic tech. Sonic: fantasy, talking antropomorphic animals. Kung Fu Panda: ditto. Animal Farm: true, I consider this to be an allegory and possibly off-topic here, but it's also a fable with talking animals, which is fantasy. Clockwork-orange belongs to the time-honored genre of dystopic scifi (scifi doesn't need aliens or futuristic tech to be considered scifi). – Andres F. Jul 28 '15 at 15:11
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    @AndresF. So anything anthropomophic is fantasy? Is there an existing meta discussion about that? I seem to remember to have once read that the majority of Disney and Pixar stuff is not on-topic (albeit usually anthropomorphizing non-human stuff), but I might be wrong with this. – TARS says Reinstate Monica Jul 28 '15 at 15:13
  • @AndresF. Admitedly I haven't read the book on which A Clockwork Orange is based, but nothing about the film suggests dystopia. Additionally, although the comic Batman may be on topic, there is nothing about the Nolan trilogy that is. If talking animals is on-topic, then is BoJack Horseman? What about Seasame Street, Rainbow, or The Muppets? How about Thomas the Tank Engine or Cars? If so, then why not personified emotions? – Dr R Dizzle Jul 28 '15 at 15:15
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    @TARS (and @phantom42): great. I'm in favor of excluding antromorphic animals (with no other fantasy element) from this site. I didn't want to sound too strict. Animal Farm is a very thinly-disguised political allegory so I'm definitely in favor of considering it off-topic. – Andres F. Jul 28 '15 at 16:01
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    @DrRDizzle - If Clockwork Orange doesn't seem dystopian to you, you haven't seen it. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jul 31 '15 at 19:32
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    @WadCheber I assure you I have. – Dr R Dizzle Jul 31 '15 at 19:49
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    @DrRDizzle I'm far from suggesting Wikipedia is an authoritative source, but here's what it has to say about A Clockwork Orange : "A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian novel by Anthony Burgess" (book), and "A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film" (movie). Interestingly enough, the article about the book doesn't mention science fiction, though the one about the movie does (AFI in 2008 considered it the 4th greatest sci fi film to date). – Andres F. Aug 2 '15 at 17:49

While the director may have intended the people in her head to be metaphorical, that doesn't mean the viewers have to interpret it that way.

Authors (and directors) have their view of the works and the people that read/watch/listen to it hav theirs.

And it seems to me that viewers "feel" for the people in her head, and not just for her -- making them just as real as she is, and thus the film fits here at least as well as it does on Movies and TV.

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    The problem with this interpretation is that it leaves the door open for almost anything to be considered fantasy/sci-fi. (I agree with your opinion that sometimes viewers/readers have the right to have their own interpretations. in a way "owning" the work of the author. But it's a controversial opinion and it's not useful in this case, in my opinion). – Andres F. Aug 3 '15 at 13:42

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