Inside Out 2 Review

Cast: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Tony Hale, Liza Lapira

Genre: Family, Animation

Director: Kelsey Mann

In Irish Cinemas: 14th June 2024


Creating a sequel to Inside Out appears to be the most daring among all the Pixar films. The first film’s ending suggested a direction for the storyline, with pre-teen Riley (now voiced by Kensington Tallman) approaching the tumultuous period of puberty, often likened to emotional Armageddon. However, this begs the question: what is the purpose of a sequel? The original film masterfully and with great subtlety explored the intricacies of the human mind, potentially leaving a sequel with little new ground to cover. After delving deeply into the basics of psychology and even making jokes about abstract thought, what new territory remains to be explored?

Inside Out 2 doesn’t attempt to surpass its predecessor through cleverness but instead builds upon and deepens the emotional narrative established in the first film. This approach is evident from the start, as the sequel opts to continue from the existing storyline rather than diverge for the sake of being different. Riley, now 13 and on the cusp of starting high school, is experiencing the onset of puberty, which introduces a host of new, more complex emotions: Anxiety (voiced by Maya Hawke), Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos), and Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser). These new emotions bring a layer of intrigue and curiosity to the story, as the audience is eager to see how they will affect Riley’s journey. As Riley navigates the challenge of choosing between her old friends and the allure of joining the cool crowd, her familiar childhood emotions are pushed aside. Anxiety takes the lead, striving to mould Riley into someone who can handle the pressures and social dynamics of high school.


If the first ‘Inside Out’ was a story about embracing our emotions, the sequel, ‘Inside Out 2’, takes a different approach. It focuses on understanding how and when to manage our emotions. The film takes us on another pun-filled journey through Riley’s mind, where Joy (Amy Poehler) and her companions navigate through ‘sar-chasms’ and confront hidden dark secrets in an inventive, humorous scene reminiscent of the original. The film, directed by Kelsey Mann, with a script by Meg LeFauve and Dave Holstein, maintains the tone established by Pete Docter. Mann swiftly delivers the humour, respects the audience’s intelligence, and avoids showing off his cleverness. This brief summary of the plot gives the reader a clear idea of what to expect from the sequel, setting the stage for the review.


While many new characters may lack depth, they excel in delivering top-notch visual comedy. A standout is Embarrassment, who, despite his large size, is perpetually trying to hide. On the other hand, Anxiety is a wonderfully crafted character—a misguided, almost villain who frets herself into trouble. Alongside Joy, she serves as the emotional core of this sequel, which explores the parts of ourselves we strive to improve and those we must learn to accept. Pixar’s films have been full of promising ideas that haven’t fully materialised throughout this decade. However, this movie is arguably Pixar’s best since Coco and the finest sequel since Toy Story 3.

Overall: 7.5/10

Share now!

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us

Scroll to Top