Inside Out 2 Movie Review: Riley faces a whole new set of emotions in this worthy sequel

Inside out 2

Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Kensington Tallman

In Inside Out 2, Riley, now 13 and voiced by Kensington Tallman, faces new emotions as she enters adolescence. A siren in her brain headquarters signals puberty, prompting renovation work to install a new console for her developing feelings.

About Inside Out 2

In Inside out 2Riley, the once-displaced tween from the original Inside outis now 13 years old and her voice role is vividly performed by Kensington Tallman. As she steps into adolescence, Riley is faced with a whole new set of emotions. A siren flashes in her brain headquarters, signaling the onset of puberty. This prompts renovation workers to tear down the walls and install a new console to accommodate Riley’s burgeoning adolescent feelings.

The return of the original emotions

The original quintet of emotions: Anger (Lewis Black), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Tony Hale), Disgust (Liza Lapira) and Joy (Amy Poehler) – are still present, but now function as ‘repressed emotions’, which have been pushed to the back of Riley’s mind. Over the course of the film, these emotions take a literal journey to the back of her mind, symbolizing their diminished role in her new emotional landscape.

A worthy successor to a Pixar classic

Inside Out was hailed as the last great Pixar film, a visionary film that created an entire world in Riley’s mind. It deconstructed the human personality and presented a story that was both entertaining and deeply moving. Inside out 2 may not shock the audience with the same out-of-the-box imaginative daring, but director Kelsey Mann and screenwriters Meg LeFauve and Dave Holstein build on the brilliance of the original film. They come remarkably close to its charm and depth.

Introduction of new emotions

The new emotions introduced are a deliriously fun crew: Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser) and Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos). The main newcomer, however, is Fear, voiced by Maya Hawke. Initially visualized as a walking nervous wreck, fear turns out to be a dynamic force, using its nervous energy to get things done.

Riley’s summer of transition

As high school summer approaches, Riley heads to a three-day hockey camp. Her excitement turns to fear when she learns that her best friends don’t go to the same high school. Her main goal becomes making the high school hockey team, the Fire Hawks, and impressing their leader, Valentina (Lilimar). Riley’s desire to fit in with Valentina and the other cool kids takes precedence over everything else, including her existing friendships.

Fear takes control

Fear becomes the defining emotion, causing Riley to prioritize social progress and future fears over current joys. The emotional battle in Riley’s mind becomes a war over her sense of self, as she questions whether she wants to be herself or who others want her to be. This conflict is at the heart of Inside out 2making it a poignant exploration of early adolescence.

A story about belonging

Inside out 2 is a compelling fable about the desire to fit in and be validated by cool culture. While it may not be as uproariously funny as its predecessor due to its lack of novelty, it still delivers moments of delightful brazenness. Memorable scenes include Riley’s awkward attempt to name a cool band and the creation of a ‘Sar gap’ in her brain. Nostalgia, narrated by June Squibb, comes through delightfully and adds a humorous touch.

Pixar’s creative return

Inside out 2 marks a triumphant return for Pixar, bringing together the perspectives of children and adults. It delves into the micro choices that shape our personalities, asking whether we allow fear to overshadow joy and whether our desire to belong exceeds our true selves. The film leaves audiences eagerly awaiting a new sequel that explores Riley’s ongoing emotional journey.

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