Inside Out 2 Image

Inside Out 2

By Alan Ng | June 13, 2024

NOW IN THEATERS! The emotions living inside of young Riley’s head return in Disney/Pixar Animation’s feature film, Inside Out 2. But can this sequel end the run of underperforming and objectively bad features, including Lightyear, Strange World, and Wish? We’ll see.

We pick up with pre-teen Riley (Kensington Tallman) on a winning hockey championship season with her best friends, Grace (Grace Lu) and Bree (Sumayyah Nuriddin-Green). After the game, the trio is approached by the championship high school coach, and she offers them a shot at making the team by attending summer hockey camp.

Of course, this is Inside Out, and while all this is happening to Riley, her emotions of Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), and replacement Fear (Tony Hale), and Disgust (Liza Lapira) are working the controls getting Riley through the rush of the game, the disappointment of the penalty box, and the thrill and excitement of winning. All creating new memories…except for the penalty box. That memory gets slung shot to the back of her mind.

BELIEF SYSTEM – In Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” Riley’s Sense of Self is made up of all of her beliefs, each of which can be heard with the pluck of a string. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) and Joy (voice of Amy Poehler) deliver key memories to this formative land. “Inside Out 2” releases only in theaters June 14, 2024. © 2024 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

“…Riley’s puberty alarm goes off…we are introduced to a new set of emotions…”

All these good memories are now taken to the basement, and when combined with other memories, they create a crystalline figure known as “belief.” In this case, that belief is “I am a good friend.”
Preparing for a fun and fulfilling week at camp, Riley’s puberty alarm goes off. HQ is replaced with a new control panel, and we are introduced to a new set of emotions: Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos), Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser), and Joy’s counterpart, Anxiety (Maya Hawke).

When Riley heads off to camp, Grace and Bree tell her they are not going to the same school in the fall. Joy tries to make the best of the news, but Anxiety looks way into the future and decides that Riley needs to make a good impression on team captain Valentina (Lilimar) and make the team…even as a freshman. It’s all done at the cost of Riley’s friendship with Grace and Bree.

Disapproving of Anxiety’s plan, Joy tries to take over control of Riley only to be stopped by Anxiety and her gang. Anxiety imprisons Joy and friends and puts them in a vault to be suppressed forever.

Let’s start with the good. Inside Out 2 boasts an incredible story for pre-teens and children. Regarding insight into adolescent development, it handles the abstract concepts of emotions having a personality and plays with them beautifully, like the original Inside Out. The addition of Anxiety, Ennui, Embarrassment, and Envy is clever and profound.

Inside Out 2 (2024)

Directed: Kelsey Mann

Written: Meg LeFauve, Dave Holstein, Kelsey Mann

Starring: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Kinsington Tallman, Liza Lapira, Tony Hale, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Ayo Edebiri, Paul Walter Hauser, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Inside Out 2 Image

"…another example of Disney losing its spot as the gold standard of animation."

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