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Movie Review - Pixar's Inside Out 2

Make room for new emotions.

Inside Out 2 is a 2024 animated comedy-drama film directed by Kelsey Mann, written by Meg LeFauve and Dave Holstein, produced by Pixar Animation Studios, and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film stars Amy Poehler and Maya Hawke. This is the second film in the Inside Out franchise. It was preceded by Inside Out.

"Our little girl is growing up so fast. And things couldn't be better." - Joy


As Riley Andersen hits puberty, more emotions make their way into her brain, challenging Joy, Sadness, and the other original emotions to deal with these fast-moving changes.

The Sweet

Inside Out is one of my favorite Pixar movies. I think it does everything that Pixar aims to do with each of its films; tell a creative, inventive story while being both incredibly funny and very emotional. Following that up with a sequel was a tall task, but it made sense, because cognitive development does not stop when you are eleven. However, Pixar movies have been pretty underwhelming as of late, so I was definitely a bit nervous when this was announced.

And, while I do not think it lives up to the first film, Inside Out 2 is a very good sequel. I love that it is able to extend the creativity of the first film by giving us more world-building inside Riley's mind. We go on an adventure with our main emotions here, and we see tons of new, fun places and things that go on inside Riley. It doesn't feel as fresh as the first one, but that doesn't stop it from being fun.

One thing Pixar has always done well is telling stories about growing up that all of their audience can relate to. The first Inside Out came out when I was nine. Now, I'm seventeen, so I've experienced everything that both Inside Out and Inside Out 2 explores. This movie gets into the angst of being a teenager, which everyone can connect to. That's what makes the concept of Inside Out so genius. Everyone has felt these emotions, so everyone can relate to this story.

I also think that the writers and animators did a great job of giving all of the emotions the spotlight. As much as I love Inside Out, Joy and Sadness are the two characters that really pop. Here, all of the emotions, old and new, get their time to shine. Anger, Fear, and Disgust are given much more screen time and each have their laugh out loud moments. Anxiety is the highlight of the new emotions. She can be funny, unlikable, and sympathetic at times, which just shows the complexity of her character. Envy, Embarrassment, and Ennui are our other new emotions, and each of them also get their hilarious or powerful moments.

I really enjoyed that this film also focused on Riley more. In the original, Riley is a major character, but it feels like she's much more of a reflection of what the emotions are feeling than an actual person. In this, she has much more personality and you almost care about her more. She feels like an actual character rather than a plot device, which I think makes this story connect in a much different way than the first.

And, needless to say, the animation here is gorgeous. It feels like we are really living in the golden age of animation. From stuff like Spider-Verse to the 2-D 3-D blend like Wish to the classic Pixar look of Inside Out 2, all of these different styles are really beautiful. I thought Inside Out 2 did a great job of getting extra creative with the animation and blending in other styles with the classic Pixar style.

The Sour

Pixar sequels have an interesting track record. On the one hand, all of the Toy Story sequels are incredible films, arguably better than the first. On the other, Monsters University and Cars 2 are two of the weakest Pixar films. Inside Out 2 falls very much into the Incredibles 2 category of very good but not really close to the original.

The one thing that this film really fails to do is set itself apart from the first. The journey that we take feels very reminiscent of the first one. It feels like it's conveying the same message with different emotions. And, while that's a great message, it does feel less powerful when this is the second time that we're seeing it.

I also feel like this movie does everything that Inside Out did but slightly worse. Now, that sounds really bad, but keep in mind that Inside Out is one of the best animated movies ever made. Inside Out 2 is funny, but Inside Out is funnier. Inside Out 2 has moments that will tug at your heartstrings, but Inside Out will make you cry. I wish it had done a bit more to try and set itself apart from Inside Out and deliver the same amount of laughs and tears that that film had.

But, overall, this is a really solid sequel.

Final Thoughts and Score

Inside Out 2 is a worthy, charming sequel that has more mind-exploring fun and a solid message, but do not expect a film on the level of Inside Out.

I'm going Savory here. Age range is 6+.


Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)

"Inside Out 2"

Fun Factor: 8.5/10

Acting: 7.5/10

Story: 8/10

Characters: 8.5/10

Quality: 8/10

Directed by Kelsey Mann

Rated PG for thematic elements

Released on June 14, 2024

Amy Poehler as Joy

Maya Hawke as Anxiety

Lewis Black as Anger

Phyllis Smith as Sadness

Kensington Tallman as Riley Andersen

Tony Hale as Fear

Liza Lapira as Disgust

Ayo Edebiri as Envy

Paul Walter Hauser as Embarrassment

Adéle Exarchopoulos as Ennui

Lilimar as Valentina Ortiz

Sumayyah Nuriddin-Green as Bree

Grace Lu as Grace

Diane Lane as Mrs. Andersen

Kyle MacLachlan as Mr. Andersen

Yvette Nicole Brown as Coach Roberts

Ron Funches as Bloofy

James Austin Johnson as Pouchy

Yong Yea as Lance Slashblade

June Squibb as Nostalgia


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