Inside Out 2 | Review by: Benjamin Garrett

 Pixar has created an impossibly high standard for themselves. We get a few less than great movies recently and everyone proclaims they’ve “lost their touch”. Inside Out 2 is here to prove their touch is still very much intact. It may not reach the heights of their very best efforts, but it’s a worthy sequel, and a welcome return to greatness for the studio. 

Many questioned the necessity of this film, as the first is one of Pixar’s best and didn’t seem to warrant a sequel. I would actually argue the opposite. This film is a beautiful companion piece that further expands on the brilliant ideas of the original. It was never going to match the same level of surprising originality, but it avoids retreading familiar territory by jumping ahead to a new chapter of Riley’s life. Doing this allows the film to show us several new emotions, and explore the increasingly complicated range of feelings we experience growing up. 

Something Pixar has always excelled at is handling complex themes and ideas in a way that’s accessible for audiences of any age. This is another visually dazzling adventure full of laughs and tears made for everyone. Young audiences will connect to the more basic emotional ideas while having a blast with the surface level story. However, the movie will resonate with older audiences in a much different way - especially those who’ve struggled with anxiety. It’s easy to relate to Riley because we’ve all been that age before, experiencing emotional changes we don’t know how to navigate. Pixar even went the extra mile, consulting psychologists and actual teenagers to make sure they got Riley’s personality right.

Unsurprisingly, this movie is visually remarkable, with astonishing attention to detail in every frame. The contrast between the real world and the colourful depths of Riley’s mind makes the film a real treat for the eyes. There are an also few scenes that play with different types of animation, merging them seamlessly with Pixar’s signature style. The absence of composer Michael Giacchino is noticeable, but not detrimental to the film’s enjoyability. 

 Amy Poehler shines bright once again as Joy, as she too struggles to navigate a version of Riley she doesn’t fully understand. Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling didn’t return to voice Fear and Disgust, but I think Tony Hale and Liza Lapira did a wonderful job taking over. Actually, I think I prefer Hale’s performance to Hader’s. The new emotions offer a welcome shakeup to the roster, with Maya Hawke being especially great as Anxiety. Her initially timid performance gradually transforms into an anxious whirlwind, with Hawke perfectly encapsulating every bit of the transition. 

Inside Out 2 finds Pixar reigniting their brightest creative spark. This is a beautifully animated, funny, endearing and all around entertaining successor to the first film that will resonate with audiences of all ages. 


Review by: Benjamin Garrett

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