Inside Out 2 Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Kensington Tallman, Liza Lapira, Tony Hale, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, and Ayo Edebiri.

Director: Kelsey Mann

Inside Out 2 Movie Review Out. (Photo Credit – Instagram)

What’s Good: Pixar’s animation quality continues to be the peak in the industry, even if, at this point, the character design and the environment feel too familiar.

What’s Bad: The film cannot escape the feeling of being too manipulative, to the point you can almost see the hands of the puppeteer, taking you out of the experience.

Loo Break: Inside Out 2 is short and sweet, so there are no look breaks in here.

Watch or Not?: If you are a fan of Pixar, you might find this one to be one of their best films and enjoy it thoroughly.

Language: English (with subtitles).

Available On: Theatrical.

Runtime: 97 Minutes.

User Rating:

For the last couple of years, it seemed like the mighty had fallen, as Pixar could no longer recreate the magic that made it famous. They were treading water with films that felt too much like therapy for their own directors and less about creating powerful universal stories. This trend, coupled with Disney’s release plans where several Pixar films went directly to streaming, seemed to have killed the prestige that accompanied each of Pixar’s films, which is something the studio is trying to bring back with Inside Out 2, a sequel to one of their most beloved films.

Inside Out 2 Movie Review Out. (Photo Credit – YouTube)

Inside Out 2 Movie Review: Script Analysis

To say that Inside Out 2 is better than its first instalment will not be accurate, as they are two films dealing with different stuff. Yes, Inside Out 2 still follows Joy, Sadness and the rest of the emotions living inside Riley’s head. Still, this time, these characters feel secondary to Riley’s own story, which might be a surprise because the first film was all about Joy discovering her real place inside Riley’s emotional spectrum and working together with the other emotions.

Inside Out 2 still deals with the ever-changing mind of Riley, who is now a full-fledged teenager, and that, of course, brings about the entire baggage of being a teenager and changing both physically and mentally. By focusing on Riley as a character and not as a framing device for the emotions, Inside Out 2 feels very much like a film where Riley is the protagonist, and the developments that happen in her world, through her eyes, feel way more substantial and enjoyable than anything that is happening inside her head.

Of course, the inside of Riley’s head is a representation of everything that is happening outside of it; the feedback goes both ways and while Joy and the team need to deal with the appearance of new emotions, like Anxiety, Riley’s side of the story, as a complete character, feels like the main point of attention for the film. This makes the story very different from the first film and creates a closer relationship between the character and the audience.

The emotions are still fun to look at and follow around, but I felt that their side of the story was mostly predictable and lacking real gravitas, while Riley’s journey had a presence that was difficult to ignore. Inside Out 2 is more relatable than the first film, so if that is what you are looking for, you will love this one much more.

Inside Out 2 Movie Review: Star Performance

The new focus on Riley as the true protagonist of the Inside Out story allows Kensington Tallman to really come off as the star of the film. Her voice work is nuanced, energetic, and compelling as she manages to express all the emotions living in her head in a single voice. It feels like the perfect way for Riley to sound when dealing with such a journey.

Inside Riley’s head, the one that truly stands out this time is Maya Hawke’s as Anxiety, a character that will feel completely relatable, especially nowadays when everyone seems to have their anxiety levels way up there. Hawke’s cracked voice and chaotic energy is anxiety-inducing, and she manages to make Anxiety truly compelling, even when we just want to stay away from her. Ayo Edebiri also does a great job, but Hawke just steals the show every single time.

Inside Out 2 Movie Review Out. (Photo Credit – YouTube)

Inside Out 2 Movie Review: Direction, Music

Inside Out 2 is directed by Kelsey Mann, who directed Party Central, a Monster’s Inc. short more than a decade ago. It is hard to say that Mann has his own particular style; his work on the film feels more in line with his trying to keep things on track instead of pushing for any particular visions. While this is absolutely a difficult thing to do, it makes the film feel a bit less unique and more like something created in the machine.

On top of that, just like in the first movie and in many other Pixar projects, the hands of the puppeteer are easy to see, and when that happens, it might take some people out of the experience, as it certainly did to me. I felt like someone was pushing me to cry instead of telling me a story that would make me feel those emotions in an organic way.

Inside Out 2 Movie Review Out. (Photo Credit – YouTube)

Inside Out 2 Movie Review: The Last Word

Inside Out 2 does fix all the issues in the first film, but taking the story in a particular direction makes the film feel different from the first instalment. The animation is out of this world, and while I would love for Pixar to experiment with varying styles of animation, it is hard to deny that they are the best at the one they do. It could be a return to form for Pixar, but they still need to prove themselves with a massive original success, just like the old days.

Inside Out 2 Trailer

Inside Out 2 released on 14th June, 2024.

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