Inside Out 2: Riley’s Mind Gets Crowded As Teen Years Begin

Riley’s mind becomes crowded when additional emotions take the controls in Pixar’s Inside Out 2, a sequel to their 2015 Oscar winner.

There is a scene after the credits.

Pete Docter has a way of making Pixar magic. However, he is not directing the sequel–instead, Kelsey Mann is directing. With Mann helming, Anxiety (Maya Hawke) is about to be front and center in Riley Andersen’s (Kensington Tallman) mind. After all, adolescence brings on its whole new set of challenges as children become teenagers. Just talk to any parent about this. Anyway, Anxiety is not alone as a few more emotions also enter the picture. In short, Headquarters is getting a renovation and it was only a matter of time. The human mind is so complex and there are even more emotions that could potentially debut in a third feature film.

While the five core emotions return, there are some casting changes because of pay disputes. Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling certainly brought so much emotion to their performances in the first film. It’s a shame that Disney-Pixar couldn’t reward them for their work. Tony Hale and Liza Lapira step into replace them.

I’m going to have some additional thoughts below the photo.

Disney and Pixar’s Inside Out 2 returns to the mind of newly minted teenager Riley, where her Emotions Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale), Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) and Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira) must make room for new Emotions, including Envy (voice of Ayo Edebiri), Anxiety (voice of Maya Hawke) and Embarrassment (voice of Paul Walter Hauser). Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen, Inside Out 2 releases only in theaters June 14, 2024.
Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” returns to the mind of newly minted teenager Riley, where her Emotions Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale), Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) and Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira) must make room for new Emotions, including Envy (voice of Ayo Edebiri), Anxiety (voice of Maya Hawke) and Embarrassment (voice of Paul Walter Hauser). Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen, “Inside Out 2” releases only in theaters June 14, 2024. © 2024 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Riley is now 13-years-old and the hockey player is entering the world of puberty. The previous film teased the next phase with the console upgrade showing a red puberty warning. In what comes as no surprise, the warning starts going off, leading to Demolition upgrading the console and other improvements during the renovation. Life as they know it is about to change as a new emotions compete for control with Joy (Amy Poehler) and the others. The world around them is certainly going to see a very different Riley on display, for better or worse.

Joy, Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Tony Hale), Disgust (Liza Lapira), and Anger (Lewis Black) have a routine operation in place. It’s been something of a success through Riley’s 13th birthday. Well, aside from running away shortly after moving to San Francisco. Things improved. Riley made new friends and is also a successful hockey player on the verge of high school. Everything is about to change when Anxiety, Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos), and Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser) show up at Headquarters. What could possibly go wrong? Well, you’ll just have to watch the film and see what happens.

The Pixar sequel more or less follows the same formula as the 2015 Oscar winner. Remember how Joy and Sadness found their way to Long Term Memory and had to find their way back to Headquarters? Guess what? Anxiety sends the first film’s core emotions to the Vault and the process basically repeats itself! The thing with sequels is that they should not be a complete carbon copy of their predecessor. They need to find things that give us what we enjoy while also setting the new film apart from what came before. Otherwise, it gets into the problems that plagued franchises like The Hangover: repeating the same thing over and over but in a different setting. All this aside, it’s still an entertaining film and leaves room for more while showing how Riley’s mind has changed.

There are concepts in the sequel that were not in the first film. Emotions have a place to sleep! While there are the Islands of Personality, a new concept is Sense of Self. Joy has taken to discarding all the bad thoughts to the Back of the Mind. Meanwhile, the first order of business for Anxiety is to completely gut what was previously working. Anxiety goes into overtime in giving Riley a new (negative) sense of self. It’s strange to think of an inner emotion as a villain but that’s how Anxiety comes off. Anxiety’s antagonism is why the original emotions get sent to the Vault, home of suppressed memories and such. It’s certainly something I can relate to because there are things I’ve seen that I would like to forget ever happened–Cats for starters.

Andrea Datzman takes over for Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino. The original themes return and are joined by a Sense of Self theme among others. The anxiety, joy, and embarrassment really come through in the score. Datzman’s score for the film is modern in nature but is also influenced by musical trends. Guitars and drums get more of a focus this time around. Anyway, the film utilizes the traditional score while inside Riley’s mind.

Inside Out 2 adds more emotions into the mix as Riley becomes a teenager while not straying too far from the magic of its predecessor.

DIRECTOR: Kelsey Mann
SCREENWRITERS: Meg LeFauve and Dave Holstein
CAST: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Kensington Tallman, Liza Lapira, Tony Hale, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Ayo Edebiri, Lilimar, Grace Lu, Sumayyah Nuriddin-Green, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Paul Walter Hauser, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ron Funches, James Austin Johnson, Yong Yea, Steve Purcell, Dave Goelz, Kirk Thatcher, Frank Oz, Paula Pell, June Squibb, Pete Docter, Paula Poundstone, John Ratzenberger, Sarayu Blue, Flea, Bobby Moynihan, Kendall Coyne Schofield

Disney-Pixar will release Inside Out 2 in theaters on June 14, 2024. Grade: 4/5

Please subscribe to Solzy at the Movies on Buttondown.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

You Missed

Bob Newhart: A Legacy of Laughter Airs on July 22

Bob Newhart: A Legacy of Laughter Airs on July 22

Rabin In His Own Words: A Cinematic Autobiography

Rabin In His Own Words: A Cinematic Autobiography

Bob Newhart: Comedy Legend Dead at 94

Bob Newhart: Comedy Legend Dead at 94

Twisters Storms Its Way Into Theaters for a Thrilling Time

Twisters Storms Its Way Into Theaters for a Thrilling Time

Jac Collinsworth Joining Peacock’s Gold Zone During Paris Olympics

Jac Collinsworth Joining Peacock’s Gold Zone During Paris Olympics

Eyes Wide Shut: Final Stanley Kubrick Film Marks 25th Anniversary

Eyes Wide Shut: Final Stanley Kubrick Film Marks 25th Anniversary