Inside Out 2 perfectly captures the transition of emotions during puberty

in Entertainment/Reviews by

*Warning: Slight Spoilers Ahead*

The newest Pixar movie “Inside Out 2,” now in theaters, focuses on the main character, Riley, as she goes through puberty and experiences new emotions. As a long-time Pixar fan, I was excited to see this film, especially since I felt that recent Pixar releases hadn’t been as strong. Despite feeling like this, “Inside Out 2” exceeded my expectations.

“Inside Out 2” continues Riley’s story from the original “Inside Out.” The film opens with her playing hockey, a key aspect of her character. I appreciated that we got to know Riley more as a person, with scenes of her with friends, family, in high school and playing hockey, showing how her emotions influenced her actions and decisions.

Additionally, I loved all the new characters. The new emotions introduced in the movie, which were Anxiety, Embarrassment, Ennui and Envy, added fresh elements to the story. Anxiety, voiced by Maya Hawke, stood out as the main antagonist, trying to take over Riley’s emotions to protect her, but causing more stress than intended. Anxiety’s character was well-executed, with the detailed animations like her suitcases representing over-preparedness and her nervous demeanor, reflected in her shaking hands and disheveled hair, adding dimension to her character. 

In addition to the changes in characters, the original emotions were also developed further. Sadness played a more helpful role in solving the plot and I loved that Joy showed more emotional range beyond just staying positive. The collaboration and diverse dynamics of these emotions allowed for complex storytelling while remaining accessible to younger viewers. Though family-friendly, “Inside Out 2” blurs the line between young and mature, resonating with older audiences. This can be seen in Joy’s ending reflections on growing up and feeling less joy.

While “Inside Out 2” isn’t as heart-wrenching as the first movie, it still delivered emotional moments. One of these key moments occurred when all the emotions teamed up to take control of Riley’s panic attack, which was represented as a cloud forming inside her head. 

The animation quality has significantly improved, with detailed facial animations and character designs. The only drawback about the second movie is that the plot is somewhat similar to the first film, with complex emotions constantly battling for control over Riley.

Overall, I would say that “Inside Out 2” lives up to the high standards of its first movie, “Inside Out,” offering a relatable and engaging story with stunning animation.

“Inside Out 2” was released nine years after “Inside Out.” In a poll taken on iPatriotPost’s instagram which asked followers if they had seen the movie yet, 33 voters of different ages responded. 18% selected “yes,” 45% chose “no,” and 36% picked “no, but I am planning to.” Rising senior Georgi Dubs, who is planning to watch the movie, was around 8 years old when she watched  “Inside Out.” “I am now 17 watching the second one,” she said. “Having likely experienced the new emotions Anxiety, Ennui, Embarrassment and Envy, I will enjoy seeing a parallel through Riley’s teenage years and mine.” (Photo/Game Reactor)

Kayra is a rising junior who is passionate about art and journalism. She loves expressing herself and the issues she cares about through her writing and artworks. She holds officer positions in Newspaper, Quill&Scroll, and the National Art Honor Society. When not studying, Kayra loves to read nonfiction books, hangout with her friends, cook healthy meals, listen to music while creating art, and spend time with her cat and family. She is looking forward to her junior year as she prepares for AP Art and new articles to write.