• Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Inside Out 2 – Emotions At Work in a Fantastic Sequel!

ByTaylor T Carlson

Jun 12, 2024

INSIDE OUT 2 is directed by Kelsey Mann. It stars Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Tony Hale, Liza Lapira, Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri, Adele Exarchopoulos, Paul Walter Hauser, Kensington Tallman, Diane Lane, and Kyle MacLachlan. It’s the sequel to the 2015 Pixar film INSIDE OUT.

Riley has become a teenager, and is leaving middle school. But next year, she’ll be in high school, and her friends will be at different schools! Riley’s emotions are of course working overtime to keep the young girl on track in her everyday life. But just as she’s invited to attend a weekend hockey camp, puberty sets in, and with it comes the arrival of new emotions! Fear, Disgust, Anger, Joy, and Boredom are now joined by Envy, Embarrassment, Anxiety, and Ennui, further complicating Riley’s life, prompting her old emotions to go on a journey in an attempt to save Riley from making mistakes. And will the girl stay friends with her longtime besties, or ditch them in attempt to look cool to the high schoolers she idolizes?

INSIDE OUT was one of my favorite movies to come from Pixar because it was one of their most relatable. The studio has long had a knack for making movies that are equally appealing to kids and adults, because they seem to understand and know how to entertain everyone. Personifying emotions sounds like a simple concept, but the previous movie nailed it and made for one of the studio’s best movies. Not every Pixar movie is a masterpiece, but the studio that put 3D animation on the map as a mainstream art form retains a record of more hits than misses. INSIDE OUT 2 comes nearly a decade after its predecessor, and while some of the roles have been recase, it’s just as strong as its predecessor. It may be their strongest film of the 2020s.

Where INSIDE OUT 2 shines brightest is its relatable themes. The first movie did this concept to perfection, but the second movie may be even more relatable due to its depictions of the chaos that is a young teenager going through puberty. The opening sequence does a great job introducing the characters, both inside Riley’s mind and outside of it, and the sequences that follow with a deconstruction and breakdown of what’s going on in the young lady’s head truly takes things to the next level. The new emotions are just as entertaining as their predecessors, and their constant clashes for control of Riley are as heartfelt as they are hilarious. Once more, Pixar proves why they’re that rare studio that can make films that are as appealing to kids as adults. The little ones will love it for the bright, colorful and chaotic characters, but grown-ups, especially those raising a child, will see how this tale hits close to home.

The movie even improves on these chaotic circumstances by introducing additional characters, though some are criminally underused. These include an interactive kids’ show style character and someone who looks like he walked out of a FINAL FANTASY game. While these new folks don’t get a lot of screen time, the moments they spend on camera certainly generated a lot of laughs at my screening.

There aren’t many overly negative aspects of INSIDE OUT 2, though I admittedly would’ve liked to see more of the relationship between Riley and her parents. The sequel can be overly chaotic at times, though this is something of a double-edged sword. Ultimately though, I’d say the filmmakers accomplished what they set out to and then some.

INSIDE OUT 2 is a great sequel for kids and adults alike; there’s something for everyone here. With summer movie season upon us at long last, this is an ideal flick for moviegoers of all ages. Once more, Pixar shows what makes them one of the most relatable group of moviemakers today. Highly recommended!

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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