MediaFilm ReviewsINSIDE OUT 2 by Kelsey Mann

INSIDE OUT 2 by Kelsey Mann

This animated film takes viewers into the mind of Riley, who was the lead character in the first film (2015) of the series, “Inside Out”. The film explores expected and unexpected emotions in a group of teenage children playing hockey together.

INSIDE OUT 2. Voiced by Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, and others. Directed by Kelsey Mann. Rated PG. 100 min.

Review by Peter W. Sheehan, Jesuit Media Australia

This American coming-of-age, animated film, is produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. To date, Pixar has been responsible for state-of-the-art animation of some 23 animated movies. The film is intended as a sequel to “Inside Out” (2015). It brings back five of the characters who were in the original film, and the movie is guided by a different Director, Kelsey Mann, in his directorial debut.

The film takes us again into the mind of Riley, who is now 13, and playing hockey at a camp with her best friends. In the film, Riley is overtaken by a series of new emotions, as she nears puberty. Her mind is changed – negative emotions surface, and positive emotions return to help Riley find stability.

The original 2015 film was about the trials, sadness, and joys of growing up in Riley as a young girl. The emotions Riley experienced at that time lived inside her mind and they existed to help her find a way through life. Riley tried to keep everything positive and happy, and sadness was swept into the outskirts of her consciousness. In this film, sadness, joy, envy, anxiety, embarrassment, fear and disgust enter Riley’s mind, and as a result her feelings and memories become much more complex and intrusive, as she tries to navigate her teenage years. When Riley attempts to deal with her new emotions, separate characters embody them. Riley’s world turned upside down when her parents moved house, and negative emotions surface now alongside positive ones, looking for acceptance. Riley also has to change her “belief systems” to cope.

The film creatively continues the style of animation featured in the 2015 movie: it turns emotions into characters, and each character is imbued with an energy that conveys what the emotions might look like to a young person. Typical of Pixar, the quality of the animation is outstanding, and the film has an excellent musical score. Like the original, the film challenges the viewer, by exposing viewers to both the good and bad of growing-up. The movie is warm and funny and insightfully reaches out to adults as well as to children by depicting significant feelings and memories about how to cope with life. The movie is psychologically astute, witty and imaginative, and is a worthy sequel to the 2015 original. Amy Poehler remains the lead star in this sequel, and images in the film like a bunch of Broccoli drifting in the waters of “the stream of consciousness” stay vibrantly alive as the credits roll.

Peter W. Sheehan is an Associate of Jesuit Media


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