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INSIDE OUT 2 review – You will get the feels!

Director: Kelsey Mann
Starring: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Kensington Tallman, Liza Lapira, Tony Hale, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Ayo Edebiri, Lilimar, Grace Lu, Sumayyah Nuriddin-Green, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, and Paul Walter Hauser
Movie Length: 1 hours 36 minutes

Photo by Pixar/PIXAR – © 2024 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Darren’s thoughts: I must admit, I didn’t really like the first Inside Out. Joy grated on me and some of the plot points were a bit too dark for me. Pairing that with my natural skepticism for animated sequels meant I wasn’t terribly excited for Inside Out 2. Inside Out 2 was terrifying…and I loved it.

Inside Out takes our emotions (joy, fear, anger, disgust, and sadness) and turns them into little people in our heads that basically determine our actions. Picking up years after the first movie, Riley is now hitting puberty which means her already complicated emotions go haywire with the addition of four new emotional states – scene stealing Anxiety, Embarrassment, Envy, and Ennui. I was worried that these characters would feel tacked on to make an excuse for a new movie, but the film does a great job of explaining how these emotions fit in organically. With the exception of Ennui, who seemed largely unnecessary, the new characters are fun.

Though Riley is older, this film felt less dark than the first one. My terror came from the fact that I saw the movie with my five year old daughter (who loved the film) and Inside Out 2 gave me an all too believable vision of what I’m in for as she gets older. I loved how the film takes behaviors we are all familiar with and translates them to the world inside Riley’s head. The animation was solid, but didn’t really innovate – there’s a lot of the memory marbles and suction tubes that featured in the first movie.

I am pretty sure Inside Out 2 is better than the first one (and not just because Joy is much better here), but I’m also open to the possibility that it is simply more relevant to me now that I have a daughter. While I recommend seeing the first one before Inside Out 2 (it sets up the whole ‘each emotion is a person’ dynamic), this movie has enough exposition to help newcomers catch up. This movie is wholesome entertainment with a nice message and effective tugs at the heartstrings. Best of all you can watch it with your whole family.

Darren’s rating: A

Inside Out 2 is now in theaters.


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Darren Shulman
Darren Shulman
Darren is a professional lawyer and amateur movie/comic/TV reviewer who is lucky enough to have found a wife who is into the same geeky things he is. Darren has been making the trip from Ohio to San Diego Comic-Con since 2009. Other interests include, in no particular order: monkeys, LEGO, dinosaurs, and playing basketball poorly.

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