Movie Review – Inside Out 2

Inside Out 2 is a heady, hilarious roller coaster ride with a hint of menace for older viewers.

Inside Out 2 Review: 6 thumbs-up and 1 thumbs-down
Snappy Movie Review | Inside Out 2

Inside Out 2 Synopsis

Riley (Kensington Tallman) is now 13 years old and with that it means, it’s puberty emotional overdrive in her head, brought on by the arrival of new emotions! While the four new emotions all want the best for Riley, they don’t quite get along with the old team, and that quickly brings about strange upheavals in the young teen’s mind. The expulsion of Joy (Amy Poehler) and the old gang then results in Riley having a startling personality change.

Snappy Review

It doesn’t count among my favourite Pixar movies, but I’ll readily nominate 2015’s Inside Out as Pixar’s most inventive story of the 2010s.

The notion that our actions are controlled by five quirky, anthropomorphic, boisterous emotions is not just hilarious but also intelligently insightful. That way the 2015 movie fleshed out, we were also treated to affective statements of how darker memories/emotions like sadness and anger are not necessarily undesirable.

Managed well, these feelings become an integral part of our identities. Managed right with other emotions, we can be better people too.

Inside Out 2 continues this discussion of emotional interplay with a larger, more rambunctious cast. Though it’s nine years since the first movie, “Riley” has but aged one year and only just toed into puberty. With that, four new emotions join the party in her head. New sub-personalities that quickly come into open conflict with her older ones.

It’s an endlessly fascinating expansion. In classic Pixar storytelling style, every emotion is given a distinct, over-the-top personality, too, and so it’s a hilarious, high-energy ride from start to finish. A riotous and immersive journey that both “explains” the bizarre things teens do and how these actions could ultimately determine their lifelong personalities. (Or Sense of Self, as the sequel calls it)

There’s moreover a certain … darker undertone. One which I’m sure was intended by Pixar for the benefit of older viewers.

The conflicts that happened within Riley’s mind don’t just explain the personality swings of puberty, they seem to illustrate why certain people end up the way they do too. As in characters like serial killers, pathological criminals, and so on.

During the climax of Inside Out 2, the one name that kept popping up in my mental console was Dahmer. This is not because I recently got down to watching the Netflix series in full, it’s because what was shown in this animated comedy is very possibly the exact thing that happened in Dahmer’s head when he was younger. The repercussion of which is how the cannibal’s adult life ended up entirely dominated by certain overblown anxieties.


This realization is unnerving. It also demonstrated to me the true sophistication of Pixar’s sequel, as well as the amount of academic research invested into it.

In other words, Inside Out 2 is an educational and enlightening movie. One that’s well worth a watch in the cinema. To be clear, if you’re watching with young ones, no worries too; I doubt they notice the darker themes.

For them, this summer movie would likely just be a zany adventure they’ll remember when they hit that age bracket and start throwing tantrums.

Anxiety from Inside Out 2
I confess! I feel a certain affinity with Anxiety! This is how I used to travel, with multiple suitcases!!! (You must always travel with extra clothes in case the airline loses your bags!!!!)

Watch the trailer here.

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