Movie Review: ‘Inside Out 2’

Movie Review: ‘Inside Out 2’
Film

In Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale) and Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira) are awakened to an alarming reality: everything is changing now that Riley is 13. Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen, 'Inside Out 2' releases only in theaters Summer 2024. © 2023 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

In Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale) and Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira) are awakened to an alarming reality: everything is changing now that Riley is 13. Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen, ‘Inside Out 2’ releases only in theaters Summer 2024. © 2023 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Directed by Kelsey Mann, the follow-up to 2015’s ‘Inside Out’ is set to hit theaters on June 14, 2024.

Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust are back for the sequel and ready to embargo on the next stage in Riley’s life – her teenage years. Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, and Lewis Black return to reprise their roles as Joy, Sadness, and Anger. Tony Hale and Liza Lapira lend their voices as Fear and Disgust for the sequel.

New emotions Anxiety, Envy, Ennui, and Embarrassment are voiced by Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri, Adèle Exarchopoulos, and Paul Walter Hauser, respectively.

Initial Thoughts

Pixar's 'Inside Out 2'.

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

‘Inside Out 2’ is a solid sequel to ‘Inside Out,’ with director Kelsey Mann and the Pixar animation team taking great care to ensure the new movie matched the aesthetic and look of the 2015 film. The exploration of one’s teenage years and how much self-doubt and awkwardness can affect every decision at that age is very relatable. Get ready for a ton of puns, huge laughs, and a very heartfelt message about growing up.

Story and Direction

Pixar's 'Inside Out 2'.

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The movie kicks off with Riley’s hockey game, and the original emotions are re-introduced via a sports announcer segment with Joy giving the play-by-play. This also serves as a reminder of what each emotion was in charge of: Anger for when Riley needs to be more aggressive on the ice; Fear when Riley needs to protect herself; Disgust to prevent her from putting the wrong mouthguard in; Sadness when Riley was put in the penalty box; Joy when Riley scores a goal.

This movie introduced Riley’s “Sense of Self,” which is a collection of positive memories that are placed in a pool. Once a new memory is placed, a glowing string reaches up towards the ceiling, which is connected to Headquarters, forming a beautiful blossom of shapes and lights.

After winning her game, high school hockey coach Roberts (Yvette Nicole Brown) approaches Riley and her best friends, Grace and Bree, to invite them to a 3-day skill camp at the high school. The girls, elated by the news, go home to prepare for their trip. That night, the emotions awake to a strange beeping sound coming from the Console. A new button has appeared – “Puberty”. As the puberty alarm grows louder, Joy plucks the button off the Console and uses the chute to throw it into Riley’s back of mind.

Immediately following the puberty button incident, a wrecking ball comes crashing through Headquarters, followed by Mind Workers to start the demolition. Amidst the chaos, a new console was placed, and this prompted the arrival of the new emotions: Anxiety, Envy, Enuui, and Embarrassment. Joy and Anxiety quickly realize they have very different ideas on how to operate the console and how to take Riley through each situation. With Riley arriving at camp, Anxiety decides they must create a new Riley in order for her to better fit in and be accepted amongst the high school hockey players. Trapping the original emotions in a jar, Anxiety sends them to the vault. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust now must find their way back to Headquarters before Anxiety undo the Riley they know and love.

Pixar's 'Inside Out 2'.

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The film explores not only the self-doubt and self-consciousness of a teenager but also all the things that come with puberty, like body odor and mood swings. While these moments play as comedic, there’s also a sense of relatability, as the audiences will have gone through or will be going through that stage in life.

Anxiety is the perfect emotion to introduce in the sequel – almost every decision being made is carefully crafted by her to prevent awkward social situations and, ultimately, how to best plan for the future. The teams of emotions are split into two, where the original emotions are navigating through Riley’s mind in order to get back to Headquarters, and the new emotions are working hard to steer Riley through hockey camp.

‘Inside Out 2’ nails the life stages of social awkwardness and the idea of needing to fit in, all the while keeping the heartwarming aspect of a Pixar film.

Related Article: Director Kelsey Mann Presents Footage from Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’

How ‘Inside Out 2’ Address Riley’s Growth

Pixar's 'Inside Out 2'.

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Teenage years can be that awkward stage where you don’t admit you still like a certain type of music or TV show anymore because it’s deemed “uncool” or “childish.” This film showcases how many emotions we go through during this period as a teen, but also through the lens of parents. When Riley goes through her mood swing before leaving for hockey camp, we get an inside look at her mom’s Headquarters, and the reactions of the emotions are hilarious.

It also touches on making new friends and maintaining relationships with old friends as we grow – what causes us to grow apart and what we are willing to do to fit in with a new friend group.

Performances

(L to R) Envy (voice of Ayo Edebiri), Anxiety (voice of Maya Hawke), Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale) and Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith). Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen, 'Inside Out 2' releases only in theaters June 14, 2024. © 2024 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

(L to R) Envy (voice of Ayo Edebiri), Anxiety (voice of Maya Hawke), Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale) and Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith). Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen, ‘Inside Out 2’ releases only in theaters June 14, 2024. © 2024 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The voice cast, old and new, is excellent in the movie, but Maya Hawke’s Anxiety is the standout. She nails Anxiety’s persona with her fast-talking ability, never needing to take a second to breathe. Hawke’s performance isn’t just Anxiety-driven speed talk. Her character goes through flashes of self-doubt as well, where she begins to crack under the pressure of making sure Riley is presenting her best self, all the while “planning for the future.” Her emotional delivery later in the film proves that Anxiety isn’t just a fast-talking, caffeine-drinking character but can be multi-dimensional.

Final Thoughts

Pixar's 'Inside Out 2'.

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

‘Inside Out 2’ is a solid sequel to ‘Inside Out,’ and stands strong on its own without audiences needing to rewatch the first. It feels more mature, which is natural given Riley’s age in the film. The movie does a great job of setting up the new characters, but with it mostly focusing on Joy and Anxiety’s journey, it makes the other emotions feel like supporting characters at times. In good old Pixar fashion, there are plenty of moments that’ll tug at your heartstrings, but none that hits as hard as that “Bing-Bong” moment. Still, the story and growth of all the characters are incredibly relatable, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.

‘Inside Out 2’ receives 8 out of 10 stars.

“Make room for new emotions.”

73

PG1 hr 37 minJun 10th, 2024

Showtimes & Tickets

Teenager Riley’s mind headquarters is undergoing a sudden demolition to make room for something entirely unexpected: new Emotions! Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and… Read the Plot

What’s the story of ‘Inside Out 2’?

Following the 2015 movie, ‘Inside Out 2’ will return to the mind of Riley (Kensington Tallman) as she enters her teenage years. Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Liza Lapira), and Fear (Tony Hale) have their hands full as Riley experiences life-changing moments, along with Headquarters going under a sudden demolition to make room for something completely unexpected – brand new Emotions. Experience an emotional rollercoaster as the sequel introduces Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser), Envy (Ayo Edebiri), and Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos), who will share Headquarters with the original 5 Emotions.

Who is in ‘Inside Out 2’?

  • Amy Poehler as Joy
  • Phyllis Smith as Sadness
  • Lewis Black as Anger
  • Tony Hale as Fear
  • Liza Lapira as Disgust
  • Maya Hawke as Anxiety
  • Ayo Edebiri as Envy
  • Adèle Exarchopoulos as Ennui
  • Paul Walter Hauser as Embarrassment
  • Kensington Tallman as Riley Andersen
Inside Out 2 logo

Pixar’s Inside Out 2 logo. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

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