Inside Out 2 | Review by: Gal Balaban

Inside Out 2 certainly doesn’t reinvent what it inherited from its predecessor, but it certainly expands on it — and when your predecessor is one of the most brilliant animated movies in Pixar’s history, who are we to complain? The beautiful animation builds the corners of the world (or should I say, Riley’s brain) with endless captivation. The visual look and feel of the first film was a huge part of what made it so magical and immediately timeless, and this movie captures that with a new breath of life. The world-building is also filled with clever puns and fun corners that we may often relate to. Amy Poehler again commands the ship as captain of this film’s cast of emotions, and newcomer Maya Hawke is terrific as Anxiety, who shakes things up for Riley and the emotions in a frustratingly messy way. Who would’ve thought? Ayo Edebiri also shines as Envy, as does Adèle Exarchopoulos as Boredom.

Seeing the emotions come into conflict and/or work together to act and react in the best ways for Riley is entertaining, but the film never loses the first movie’s relentless humor as well. There’s a clear agelessness that comes with the story and themes of the film. In the nine years since Inside Out was released, I feel no less that Inside Out 2 is aimed for me than when I watched the first one on the big screen. The universality of anxiety and unconditional self-love can be deeply felt by any audience member of any demographic, and start meaningful conversations between anyone. With that, we’re reminded of the purpose of some of Pixar’s greatest hits. Though watching Inside Out in 2015 was a magical experience that maybe no film will ever replicate, this sequel hits all the right notes in the best way we could wish for. It’s a funny, cheeky, gorgeous, and profound emotional release and Pixar’s best film since Soul.


Review by: Gal Balaban 

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