Emotions in the “Up” Movie by Pete Docter

The movie UP is one of the highly emotional and impactful animated films made by Pixar. The story describes the importance of appreciation, love, and friendship. There are three main characters Carl, Ellie, and Russel. After the death of Carl’s wife, Ellie, he decides to fulfill his promise of traveling to South America. Along the way, an earnest boy named Russel joins Carl on his journey. The given movie illustrates numerous conceptual ideas and knowledge related to effective communication. It is important to understand that emotions and openness play a crucial role in promoting effective communication.

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The movie is highly emotional and touching due to the depressed and sad mood of the main character. Carl’s happiness fades after the death of his wife, which was the most tragic moment. The main reason for his sadness is that Ellie was the only person who was close to introverted Carl. This means that he was emotionally open to and reliant on a single person. Thus, the loss of the woman led to severe psychological trauma alongside extreme social isolation (Engelberg and Gouzoules 6).

Emotions and feelings, like other mental phenomena, are various forms of reflection of the real world. In contrast to the cognitive processes that reflect surrounding reality in sensations, ideas, emotions, and thoughts reflect unique truth in the experiences. These psychological elements express the subjective attitude of an individual to various components and phenomena of the surrounding reality. Some objects, elements, things make a person happy, whereas others sicken and leave him/her indifferent (Ruppel 668).

Thus, the reflection in the mind of a person of their real experiences, that is, the attitude of a subject to objects that are significant to him/her, is usually called emotions and feelings. In other words, emotions are a particular class of subjective psychological states that reflect, in the form of direct experiences, a pleasant or unpleasant process and results of practical activities aimed at satisfying actual needs (Ruppel 669). Emotion is an internal reaction of the body to the action of irritants. Internal reactions have external manifestations, and the combination of these manifestations is the response to the environment and is what is called behavior.

The external manifestation of internal emotional reactions to stimuli is directly and indirectly connected with human mental activity (Engelberg and Gouzoules 5). The higher the psychological organization of an individual, the more developed his/her intellect, the more their behavior is controlled by consciousness. It is important to define the concepts of emotions in order to understand Carl’s problems.

The movie UP illustrates how emotional display can affect the communication flow between profoundly different individuals. Both Carl and Russel are bound to each other because they are on the same journey. However, they are complete opposites of each other. Carl is old, depressed, and introverted, whereas Russel is young, energetic, and open to new possibilities. Interpersonal connection plays a significant role in the emotional openness of a person because an individual is in need of social interaction and communication (Engelberg and Gouzoules 3).

The perception of phenomena and objects of the modern world, as well as their diverse properties and relations, is one of the central processes in the mental activity of an individual. Emotional communication is a spontaneous, unplanned natural demonstration of emotions as a manifestation of the inner human emotional state, not necessarily taking into account the reaction of the interlocutor or others (Ruppel 681).

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The effectiveness of emotional communication depends entirely on emotional competence, including knowledge about emotions, their functions, knowledge of the psychological foundation of their own, and another’s language. It also involves the culture of the means of nomination for expressing and describing emotional experiences in the specific cultural context of a certain communicative locus.

There are a number of communication-related challenges presented in the movie UP. Significant improvements could be made for Carl, who is not fully able to express his thoughts and emotions. By being sullen and grumpy, he dismisses the opportunity to share his problems and allow others to be involved in them. Humans are social creatures; therefore, Carl needs to be in touch with others and have a “circle” of support (Ruppel 672).

Nevertheless, he was lonely and isolated due to his introverted nature, which can be healthy only to a certain degree. The given movie demonstrates the important concepts of emotional perception, self-disclosure, and communication barriers. Moreover, Carl’s thought process is closely connected with his emotional process and constantly interacts with and accompanies it. He needs to understand that internal distress can be eliminated through self-disclosure. Carl should have opened himself more by allowing others to know about his loss and depression.

In conclusion, emotional communication and openness can be described as the analysis of the external behavioral patterns of a person, the self-disclosure with his/her interpretation, characteristics, and prediction based on an individual’s actions. It is necessary to present an assessment of another person and the formation of attitudes towards him/her in emotional and behavioral terms. It is critically important to note that emotional closeness and the lack of self-disclosure can severely hinder the communication flow, which only promotes the depression of an individual.

Works Cited

Engelberg, Jonathan WM, and Harold Gouzoules. “The Credibility of Acted Screams: Implications for Emotional Communication Research.” Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 1, no. 1, 2018, pp. 2-7.

Ruppel, Erin K. “Use of Communication Technologies in Romantic Relationships: Self-Disclosure and the Role of Relationship Development.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, vol. 32, no. 5, 2015, pp. 667–686.

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