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Home > “Inside Out 2” (2024): A Review

“Inside Out 2” (2024): A Review

“Inside Out 2” (2024): A Review

Emotions Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

The 2024 film Inside Out 2 is a film directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Pixar Animation Studios, a subdivision of Walt Disney Pictures. This film is a piece of artwork told in the form of the story of one young girl named Riley, (played by Kaitlyn Dias). Inside Out 2 explores how everything she feels, and everything she sees, is a reflection of the emotions inside of her. Kelsey Mann shows how different emotions can be brought to life as characters in an unexpected way.


Inside Out 2 is a film unlike any other made by Pixar Animation Studios – of course, this is with the exception of its previous film, Inside Out. In this film, a girl named Riley is born, and at this same time emotions like Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Fear are also born inside of Riley’s mind in the place called “Headquarters.” This is a behind-the-scenes look of everything that goes on in Riley’s world, from family to friends and even her memories. Each emotion has its own way of expressing itself as a character, always with sparks and flares. They, along with Riley’s “Sense of Self” are like little bombs of energy that make up who Riley is as a person and who she strives to be, even in the most challenging times.

When puberty hits, a demolition begins to tear apart Headquarters. This demolition brings in a new set of emotions in addition to those she already has. Their names are Embarrassment, Ennui (boredom), Envy, and worst of all, Anxiety. It’s the curse that keeps on giving. It’s literally out with the old and in with the new. When Riley becomes a teenager, puberty hits and her emotions begin to spin out of control. They begin to panic – big time. All of those simple feelings suddenly become more complicated, and because of this, Riley’s new Sense of Self becomes endangered. Riley stops responding the way she used to to friends and family because of her emotional imbalance – she isn’t the same. She isn’t happy, or sad, or even angry anymore. The only emotions that exist now are feelings of embarrassment, boredom, envy, and anxiety. The director aims to show the audience how emotions can affect a person’s way of being through Riley, during perhaps the most influential time of her life. Hockey is Riley’s world, but as she learns to juggle new changes in her life, she must learn to not let these things change her true character.

Happily Never After: The Curse That Is Anxiety 

The main character that runs around this film is played by Maya Hawke, and the name is Anxiety. This little orange bundle is the worst of the worst, a complete antagonist and enemy of all things good in the world. She runs and runs and runs until complete destruction or even worse, annihilation. However, there may be good qualities too, in the end. She is the crazed version of “the jitters,” but with a dark side; it’s in the eyes. Thoughts and ideas become storms on the inside of Riley’s mind. Within her mind, a frenzy and fervor begins like no other. She is the one who encouraged all of the other emotions to take a forced vacation after they were kicked out of Headquarters.

Riley’s outside now only reflects emotions left behind. Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser) is a big pink guy who hides in shadows, Envy (Ayo Edebiri), and lastly, Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos) who is almost a violet color. She’s lovely and also the epitome of boredom. The rest of Riley’s emotions find themselves running through her mind trying to make it back home. Joy (Amy Poehler) is the leader of the group. She’s bright yellow, fun, and always has Riley’s best interest at heart. Sadness (Phyllis Smith) has a bit of a dreary side to her and is respectively blue. She’s just as important as Joy because Riley can’t truly know happiness without sadness. Fear (Tony Hale) is purple; he’s always keeping her on her toes, looking out for everything that can go wrong. He may be a bit jumpy, but it’s only for the best. Disgust (Liza Lapira) who of course is green, is the fashionista of the group, never wanting to get her manicure chipped and always keeping things spicy. Lastly is Anger (Lewis Black). He glows like fire and has a mad temper. He’s bold but also helps Riley let off some steam from time to time. All of her emotions must come together in an attempt to aid Riley during this difficult time of her life without turning everything upside down and inside out. 

Colors Like You’ve Never Dreamed of Before

Pixar Animation Studios is known for their beautiful colors and their creative ability to put such colors together to make something epic and wonderful. This film was no different. The director, Kelsey Mann, has made it possible to turn an emotion into a unique being. Some of these characters may come with a little sass or attitude. However, others can be tiny oddballs full of warmth like Joy, or maybe a little gloomy like Sadness, or maybe even an overall consuming rage like Anger. Either way, the atmosphere is all about boldness and liveliness.

On the outside at least, Inside Out 2 is completely real in every way, from Riley’s love for hockey to her childhood friends and even her wants and dreams. On the other hand, on the inside of Riley’s mind, her imagination is free to run wild. The emotions become reflections of the personality they represent, and the aura of her parents are full of understanding and care. There can be some creative mysteries in the back of the mind, but it can be seen that the impossible is never really out of reach. The Inside Out 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by American composer Andrea Datzman is a perfect complement of all of the different parts of Riley. With titles like Go Team(#2),Fawn of A New Day(#14), and Return to Imagination Land(#15), her music is full of expression, fun, anticipation, and drama. It’s a great film even without the soundtrack, but with it, it brings a whole new dimension to Riley’s story.

Friendships, Family, And Love

Inside Out 2 is a film filled with fun, laughter, and sometimes tearful moments. It’s because of these moments that a bond is formed between the audience and the characters. The rollercoaster of emotions caused by the separation and division of Riley’s mind causes dangerous changes. Riley’s journey through life, friendships, family, and her love for hockey all come together to complete her but also give her the freedom she needs to be who she is. It’s a wonderful film that can make the heart just a little bit lighter.

Inside Out 2 (2024) Official Pixar Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Cailen Fienemann is a current student at Le Moyne College pursuing her BA in English and Communications with a film studies minor and a creative writing concentration.  Though uncertain about her career end-goals, any job that allows her to write is a cherished one indeed.