Saturday 15 June 2024

REVIEW: Inside Out 2 (2024) - Starring Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke and Kensington Tallman

Inside Out 2

Review by Jon Donnis

"Inside Out 2," the much-anticipated sequel to Pixar's beloved 2015 film, "Inside Out," continues the journey inside the mind of Riley Andersen, now a 13-year-old navigating the tumultuous waters of adolescence. Directed by Kelsey Mann in his feature directorial debut, the film introduces new emotions that bring fresh challenges and insights into Riley's evolving sense of self.

Set a year after the original, Riley is on the cusp of high school and facing the typical stresses of teenage life. Her emotions, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust, are thrown into disarray when new emotions arrive: Envy, Ennui (boredom, yeah I never heard of Ennui before either), Embarrassment, and Anxiety. As Anxiety attempts to dominate Riley's psyche, the original emotions must work together to restore balance and help Riley navigate her complex new reality.

One of the film's standout achievements is its portrayal of Anxiety, offering a nuanced look at how this emotion can impact a young person's life. This depiction can serve as an excellent conversation starter for parents and children about dealing with anxiety and other complex feelings. The movie is a must-see for families, especially those with tweens and teens, as it effectively addresses the challenges of growing up in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking, making it a valuable viewing experience for multiple generations.

"Inside Out 2" maintains a high level of intelligence and entertainment. The story is engaging, the animation is beautiful, and the emotional core remains strong, even if it doesn't delve as deeply into emotional territory as the first film. The film beautifully embraces the idea that personal growth and transformation do not mean losing one's essence, encouraging viewers to understand and accept the evolving nature of their own identities.

Pixar continues to excel in creating visually stunning animation and crafting stories with deep emotional resonance. This film is a testament to their ability to blend humour, heart, and beauty. However, some fans might be disappointed by the changes in the voice cast. While Tony Hale and Liza Lapira do admirable jobs, the absence of Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling is noticeable. As with many sequels, "Inside Out 2" inevitably faces comparisons to its predecessor. While it holds its own, it doesn't quite reach the same emotional heights as the original.

"Inside Out 2" is a rare gem in the realm of sequels, especially considering Pixar's recent track record. It manages to recapture the charm and magic of the first film while introducing new themes and emotions that resonate with both young and older audiences. This film not only restores some of Pixar's credibility but also stands as a compelling narrative about the complexities of growing up. A beautiful and emotionally intelligent film, "Inside Out 2" is a worthy follow-up to its predecessor. It may not surpass the original, but it successfully explores new emotional landscapes and delivers a heartfelt story that will leave a lasting impression. This is a strong 9 out of 10 and a highly recommended watch for families.

In Cinemas Now!