Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Comedy Teenage Angst at it’s Finest.

Teenage Angst at it’s Finest.

“Inside Out 2” was directed by Kesley Mann in his directorial debut and is the direct sequel to the 2015 previous film. The film sees a majority of its original voice cast return, such as, Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Diane Lane & Kyle MacLachlan. Newcomers include Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri, Adele Exarchopoulos & Paul Walter Hauser. Surprisingly, Bill Hader & Mindy Kailing did return to their respective roles. Instead, Tony Hale takes on Hader’s role & Liza Lapira plays “Disgust” after Kailing. Pixar made the announcement of the film at the Disney D23 Expo in September 2022 before it was released on June 14, 2024.

2 years after moving to San Fransico, Riley has become a young teenager & plays on the local hockey team. In her mind lie the emotions, Joy (Poehler), Sadness (Smith), Anger (Black), Disgust (Lapira) & Fear (Hale) are all looking out for her best interest. For the past 13 years, these emotions have kept Riley out of danger, but at the end of the previous film the control console added a “puberty” button with no explanation. One random weekend, the button goes off and the emotions are left confused and unsure what to do. Things take a stranger turn when new emotions arrive in the form of Anxiety (Hawke), Envy (Edebiri), Ennui (Exarchopoulos) & Embarrassment (Hauser). The old emotions and new ones start clashing with each other, which causes Riley to become moody & difficult to handle. As Riley is getting older & things change in her teenage life, the emotions begin pulling her in different directions without realizing the harm they are causing.

Pixar has had a rough time with their films in the post Pandemic era following the massive disappointment with 2022’s “Lightyear”, the underwhelming performance of 2023’s “Elemental” and the few film that were straight to Disney+ like “Soul”, “Luca” & “Turing Red” that may have been good critically but due to no theatrical release are considered box office flops. “Inside Out 2” is a great return to prominence. This was a fantastic film and really a great step in this world following the success of the previous film. I don’t this film is better than part 1 but is great and does a great job evolving the characters rather just keeping the same and just put in a different scenario. The characterization of each emotion, including the new ones, is great and really drives home the meaning of the feelings in the mindset of a young teenage girl. I enjoyed the fact the other emotions got more of the adventure in this rather taking a back seat like the first film. The character & mannerism of “Anxiety” were scary realistic & really dark at some points. If you ever suffer from anxiety or have had an attack, this film does a phenomenal job really driving home the effects it will have a teenage mind and body. Something about this film felt too real at some points but nonetheless very entertaining for a kid’s film and really drives home the changes that teenagers go through when starting high school.

My biggest concern with this film was that Pixar had to go back to their old successful films and try recreating the same success after a handful of failures & mishaps. “Toy Story”, “Cars”, “Monsters Inc.”, “The Incredibles” & “Finding Nemo” have all gotten either one or more sequels at this point. Now, “Inside Out” joins the group with another sequel. It was a great movie, don’t get me wrong but this trend of more sequels is getting tiring. “Toy Story 5” has been announced but at this point how long can this keep going? It was very disappointing to hear that Mindy Kailing & Bill Hader chose not to return for this film over a financial dispute because they were part of what made that first film entertaining. Overall, this film was great & entertaining, but I don’t think it was better than the previous film. Lots of laughs, love the character growth from the 2 films. Great addition to the story & depictions as both a storytelling arch and an actual feeling & illness that people actually go through. Not to mention a fantastic depiction of an anxiety attack in a kid’s film. *SPOILER ALERT* There’s even a post credit but it does not actually lead to anything. Seriously. Nothing.


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