Movie Review – Inside Out 2


If there is anything that Pixar excel at it is playing with emotions. From bumping off the main characters wife in the first few minutes of Up to making us care more than anything about the last surviving recycling robot on earth, toying with emotions is pretty much their core business. Now they are back at it again with the sequel to the 2015 animated film  that is about the very embodiment of emotions – Inside Out.

If you are not familiar with the original (you should watch it, it’s good) the basic plot is a little like the 90s TV show Herman’s Head or that one with the tiny Eddie Murphy inside of a person robot. Basically inside of everyone there are emotions driving our behaviour, but not like that and more of an actual tiny person representing core emotions like Joy, Disgust, Anger, Fear and Sadness piloting us from a tiny control room inside our heads.

In the first film we met Riley, a small girl who was good at Ice Hockey and just being forced to move to a new house and city. As part of growing up Riley started developing new emotions in the form of sadness. While seemingly the nemesis of Joy the first film taught us that emotions are complicated and can be more than one thing, there can be joy from sadness in the core memories that form. While a busy weekend for Riley (that involved running away as well) it really did only take place over a day or two.

The new film sees a return to Riley’s head and her emotions as more well adjusted to her new city and school 2 years later. Her core memories are starting to form her sense of self and all is in balance (except for maybe the emotions deciding to bury some memories far far back of the mind). Anyway everything is going pretty well right in time for Riley to hit puberty and a new cast of emotions crowding the control room including Envy, Boredom, Embarrassment and Anxiety, and of course conflict to spawn with the emotions out of balance thanks to puberty.

As a film Inside Out 2 is less of the sequel and more of another chapter in the life of Riley as it does not go all in to the sequel tropes of everything being bigger and bigger stakes as it is still set inside of Riley’s head for the most part which we saw quite a bit in the first film. Instead the film just aims to develop Riley more as a person and as a result we get to experience the turmoil that is happening on the inside.

Animation wise the film is as stunning as you would expect from any Pixar film with each new film surpassing the last even with just the most subtle of ways with lighting or particle like effects. There is definitely a larger focus on what is happening in the real world than just what is happening inside in this film that gives it more of a balanced story and the level of depth that Pixar continue to push make you think less about this being an animated movie and more about it being just a movie.

So should you go see it? If the first film is one of your all time favourite Pixar movies then this is an absolute no brainer as this is just more of the same but different. There is still lots of great Pixar animation, the humour that can cut across ages and a cohesive story pulling it all together in a 96 minute runtime which is about average for a Pixar film. If you are looking for a wholesome back to basics Pixar (and do not expect this to show up on streaming any time soon) this will hit the right feels for a trip to the cinemas.

Inside Out 2 is in cinemas across Australia from June 13th

Andrew B

Current Resident of Reality C-137. Possible Robot from Westworld. Does lots of random stuff.

Story and Characters
Visuals and Effects
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Andrew B
Current Resident of Reality C-137. Possible Robot from Westworld. Does lots of random stuff.
movie-review-inside-out-2Inside Out 2 is less of a sequel and more of a small snapshot of a few days in the another chapter in the life of Riley. Much like the first film was about a few days after moving to a new town and school with a focus on how emotions can be more than one thing, this one is the opening salvo as Riley hits puberty and becoming a more complex self. But in the Pixar way. P.S. There is a little something at the beginning of the credits but if you truly want to learn the deepest darkest secret you are going to have to wait right until the end.