Inside Out 2

Inside Out 2
Original title:Inside Out 2
Director:Kelsey Mann
Running time:96 minutes
Release date:14 june 2024
Freshly graduated, Riley is now a teenager, which triggers a big upheaval at headquarters, which has to deal with something unexpected: the arrival of new emotions! Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, who have long worked together successfully, don't know how to react to the arrival of Anxiety. And it seems she's not the only one...

Mulder's Review

To my parents,

Inside Out 2, the long-awaited sequel to Pixar's 2015 smash hit, delves once again into the emotional depths of Riley's mind, this time exploring the troubled waters of adolescence. Directed by Kelsey Mann and written by Meg LeFauve and Dave Holstein, the film continues to blend humor, heart and imagination, making it a worthy successor to its beloved predecessor.

A year after the events of the first film, Riley, now 13 and played by Kensington Tallman, faces the challenges of puberty. As she prepares for a three-day field hockey camp, her inner world undergoes major changes with the arrival of new emotions. The original quintet of joy (Amy Poehler), sadness (Phyllis Smith), anger (Lewis Black), fear (Tony Hale) and disgust (Liza Lapira) must now contend with anxiety (Maya Hawke), envy (Ayo Edebiri), embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser) and boredom (Adèle Exarchopoulos).

The film opens with Riley excited about attending field hockey camp, which could secure her a spot on the high school team. However, her optimism is quickly overshadowed by the fact that her best friends, Grace (Grace Lu) and Bree (Sumayyah Nuriddin-Green), will be going to a different high school. This news triggers the arrival of Anxiety, who takes control of the emotional console, pushing Riley's familiar emotions to the back of her mind.

Anxiety, brilliantly played by Maya Hawke, emerges as a central figure in the film. She's not just a nervous wreck, but a character who believes she's protecting Riley from unseen dangers. Maya Hawke's performance captures the essence of this complex emotion, emphasizing both its protective nature and its crushing potential. This dynamic adds a new layer of depth to Riley's character, showing how anxiety can drive a person to act out of fear and insecurity.

The new emotions bring a fresh perspective and plenty of laughs. Ayo Edebiri's Envy is a green-eyed character who constantly compares himself to others, while Paul Walter Hauser's Embarrassment is an imposing figure who tries to hide from the world. Adèle Exarchopoulos' Ennui is remarkable, embodying the quintessential apathetic French teenager, with her morose, disinterested attitude. These characters, along with June Squibb's Nostalgia, who makes brief but memorable appearances, enrich the narrative with their unique traits and interactions.

As Riley faces the pressure of fitting in with older peers at field hockey camp, Anxiety's influence grows ever stronger. This leads Riley to have a panic attack, a poignant scene that has both visual and emotional impact. The film handles this moment sensitively, depicting Anxiety's frantic attempt to protect Riley and the chaos it causes in her mind. This depiction of a panic attack is one of the film's most powerful sequences, resonating deeply with anyone who has experienced such a moment.

The journey to restore balance to Riley's mind once again falls to Joy, who must navigate the labyrinthine workings of Riley's psyche. Amy Poehler's performance as Joy remains a highlight, as she embodies the character's unwavering optimism and determination. The quest into Riley's mind, filled with imaginative elements such as Sar's Chasm and Stream of Consciousness, showcases Pixar's creativity and attention to detail. These sequences are visually stunning and full of clever humor, even if some will find they lack the emotional punch of the original film's moments.

Phyllis Smith's sadness remains the emotional core of the film, and her interactions with new emotions offer a poignant insight into the complexities of coming of age. The supporting cast, including Tony Hale as Fear and Liza Lapira as Disgust, also deliver solid performances, contributing to the film's rich tapestry of emotions.

While Inside Out 2 expands on the themes of the original, it also faces the challenge of living up to the profound impact of its predecessor. The exploration of puberty and the emotions associated with it is both timely and relevant, especially given the growing awareness of adolescent mental health issues. The film's message about the importance of embracing all emotions, whether positive or negative, is conveyed with sincerity and compassion.

One of the film's strengths is its ability to balance humor and heart. The witty dialogue and visual gags will entertain young viewers, while the deeper emotional themes will give adults food for thought. The film insightfully shows how emotions and memories shape our perception of ourselves, and provides a valuable framework for discussing mental health with children.

The animation in Inside Out 2 is as vibrant and detailed as ever, bringing Riley's inner world to life with stunning imagery. The design of the new emotions, in particular the nervous, frenetic aspect of Anxiety, adds to the film's visual appeal. Andrea Datzman's music perfectly complements the action, enhancing the emotional resonance of key scenes.

Despite its many strengths, Inside Out 2 is not without its faults. Some will find the narrative structure a little too reminiscent of the first film, and the new characters, while entertaining, may not have the same lasting impact as the original emotions. However, these are minor drawbacks in an otherwise engaging and thoughtful film.

Inside Out 2 successfully builds on the foundations laid by its predecessor, offering a heartfelt and humorous exploration of adolescence and mental health. With strong performances, imaginative visuals and a compelling narrative, the film is a worthy addition to Pixar's catalog. It reminds us that growing up is a complex journey, requiring us to understand and embrace all our emotions. For fans of the first film, Inside Out 2 is a satisfying continuation of Riley's story, capturing the essence of what made the first film so special while introducing new elements that enrich the experience.

Inside Out 2
Directed by Kelsey Mann
Written by Meg LeFauve, Dave Holstein
Story by Kelsey Mann, Meg LeFauve
Produced by Mark Nielsen
Starring Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Tony Hale, Liza Lapira, Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Paul Walter Hauser, Kensington Tallman, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan
Cinematography : Adam Habib, Jonathan Pytko
Edited by Maurissa Horwitz
Music by Andrea Datzman
Production company : Pixar Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release dates : June 10, 2024 (El Capitan Theatre), June 14, 2024 (United States), June 19 2024 (France)
Running time : 96 minutes

Seen on June 16, 2024 at Le Grand Rex cinema

Mulder's Mark: