Review – Inside Out 2

Review – Inside Out 2

Inside Out 2 (2024)
PG  ‧ Animated Comedy ‧ 1 Hour 36 Minutes
Written by Meg LeFauve, Dave Holstein, and Kelsey Mann
Directed by Kelsey Mann


Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Diane Lane, and Kyle MacLachlan reprising their roles from the first film with Tony Hale (replacing Bill Hader as Fear), Liza Lapira (replacing Mindy Kaling as Disgust), Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Paul Walter Hauser, and Kensington Tallman (replacing Kaitlyn Dias as Riley) joining the cast.

JOY AND ANXIETY – © 2023 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.


Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust have been running a successful operation. However, when Anxiety shows up, they aren’t sure how to feel. The film takes place about a year after the original Inside Out, as the “puberty button” goes off inside of Riley, leading to the construction of a new control center and the emergence of new emotions like Anxiety, Embarrassment, Envy, and Boredom.


The BEST things about the film:

  • Emotional Accuracy and Depth:
    • The film brilliantly captures the complexity of teenage emotions, particularly the heightened sensitivity during puberty. The portrayal of anxiety and its interaction with other emotions felt incredibly real and visceral, providing a psychologically sound depiction of a teenager’s inner world.
  • Humor and Heart:
    • Inside Out 2 excels in its humor, seamlessly blending it with heartfelt moments. The jokes are well-timed, and the emotional beats are perfectly balanced, making the audience laugh and reflect simultaneously. The film engages children and adults, appealing to many viewers.
  • Innovative Animation:
    • The animation in Inside Out 2 is stunning, featuring a mix of traditional and new styles that keep the visuals fresh and engaging.


The WORST things about the film:

  • Upon my initial viewing, I found nothing to dislike about the film. It’s a flawless sequel that captures the essence of the original while adding new dimensions to the story and characters.
NEW EMOTIONS — Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” returns to the mind of newly minted teenager Riley just as new Emotions show up. Embarrassment (voice of Paul Walter Hauser), Anxiety (voice of Maya Hawke), Envy (voice of Ayo Edebiri) and Ennui (voice of Adèle Exarchopoulos) are ready to take a turn at the console 2024 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.


  • Cast Changes: One notable aspect of Inside Out 2 is the change in voice actors for certain characters. Tony Hale replaces Bill Hader as Fear, and Liza Lapira takes over for Mindy Kaling as Disgust. These changes were reportedly due to a pay dispute, where the original actors were offered significantly lower compensation than Amy Poehler, who was receiving $5 million. While it’s unfortunate that the original cast couldn’t be retained, the new actors did an excellent job, bringing their own unique flair to the characters. This casting switch did not detract from the overall enjoyment or continuity of the film.
  • Audience Reception: During the special preview showing I attended, it was clear that both children and adults thoroughly enjoyed the film. The laughter, engagement, and occasional questions from the younger audience indicated that the film captivated them. This reception bodes well for its performance with family audiences, reaffirming that Inside Out 2 manages to appeal to a broad demographic.
  • Emotional Impact: Inside Out 2 doesn’t have a singular villain, which makes the story unique and focuses more on internal struggles. Anxiety acts as the antagonist, representing a realistic and relatable challenge that many people, especially teenagers, face. This nuanced approach allows the film to explore emotional depth without resorting to traditional conflict, making it both innovative and impactful.
  • Relatability for Parents and Teens: The film’s depiction of teenage emotional turmoil is both accurate and relatable, especially for parents who have or had teenagers. The representation of emotions like envy, embarrassment, and boredom during adolescence is portrayed with such authenticity that it resonates deeply with viewers who have experienced or are experiencing similar situations.
  • Cameo Appearances: Ron Funches, one of my favorite actors and a fellow nerd, makes a delightful cameo in the film. His distinctive voice adds a fun element to the story, and it’s great to see him getting roles in major films like this. As a comedian and actor who has made a name for himself, his inclusion in Inside Out 2 is a personal highlight and adds to the film’s charm.
  • Comparison to the Original: While comparisons to the original Inside Out are inevitable, viewing this sequel as a continuation rather than a direct competitor is important. Inside Out 2 builds on the foundation of the first film, expanding the emotional landscape and introducing new concepts that enrich the story. It’s a testament to Pixar’s ability to evolve and deepen their narratives while maintaining the charm and appeal that made the original a hit.
  • Educational Value: Inside Out 2 offers educational insights into emotional intelligence and mental health. It provides a valuable tool for parents and educators to discuss emotions with children, helping them understand and articulate their feelings. The film’s portrayal of the prefrontal cortex development and its impact on decision-making and emotional regulation is particularly enlightening. It serves as a reminder of the complexities of growing up.
WHAT IS HAPPENING? – In Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale) and Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira) are awakened to an alarming reality: everything is changing now that Riley is 13. 2023 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.


Anxiety is Part of You, But Shouldn’t Control You: The film emphasizes that while anxiety can be helpful, it should not take control. It’s a part of who we are, but managing it allows our true selves to shine through.


Absolutely, Inside Out 2 is highly rewatchable. Its depth, humor, and engaging story make it a film that viewers will enjoy multiple times, discovering new nuances with each watch.


Inside Out 2 is an extraordinary sequel that delves deeper into the complexities of teenage emotions, blending humor and heartfelt moments with a psychologically accurate portrayal of anxiety and new emotions like embarrassment and envy. The innovative animation and stellar voice cast, including new members, enhance the engaging story. This film is not just fun, but also profound, making it a must-watch for families. It offers valuable lessons about managing emotions and understanding our minds, leaving a lasting emotional impact. Inside Out 2 is a beautifully crafted movie that celebrates the complexity of human emotions and is highly recommended for viewers of all ages.


My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It.

Inside Out 2 gets a Love It.



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When he’s not reviewing films or interviewing people for the Black & A Half podcast, Silas Lindenstein can be found in the greater metro Seattle, WA working as a real estate agent helping people buy and sell homes, or performing stand up comedy to fellow nerds. He has a wife and three children and desperately wants to learn to make the perfect homemade pizza.

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