Inside Out 2 – REVIEW

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Inside Out 2 trailer - Riley is older and more wracked by emotion

2015’s Inside Out was Pixar’s first movie into a more abstract narrative with its story of the five personified emotions – Joy, Fear, Sadness, Anger and Disgust, – ironically the same order of emotions that met Boris Johnson’s rise and fall – but here those emotions were in a small girls mind each vying with each other. It was a fantastic concept and richly deserved its Best Animated Film  Oscar and its $858m box office haul. So in a summer of underperforming blockbusters hopes are high for the sequel ‘Inside Out 2’.

We’re still with Riley, no longer a little girl but a thirteen year old girl on the edge of puberty and a whole range of new emotions that sees Anxiety, Envy, Embarrassment and Ennui (a pretty audacious gamble to animate that as a character). They all arrive in one of several brilliantly realized sequences as Riley’s brain HQ is torn down as the puberty siren is set off and the builders install a new console for the new emotions.

Riley, a talented hockey team player, is scouted by a hockey camp teacher who invites her and her two best friends Bree and Grace to attend. It’s the start of a number of changes for Riley – first she finds her two friends will be going to a different High School and secondly she idolizes the camps star player Val and wants to be ‘in’ with her and her team but having to do so at the expense of their friendship with Grace and Bree. Cue Anxiety. And its Anxiety who gets Riley to do and say whatever she thinks will see her being accepted by the others deftly illustrated when she has to diss her favourite boy band to Val and her team. It’s a scene that also sees Joy & co having to traverse sarcasm in the minds sar-chasm. And so the former emotions are pitted against the new ones specifically Anxiety who takes over from Joy in controlling Riley.

Once again Inside Out has encapsulated that defining moment for every teen wanting to be part of the cool kids but do you be yourself or do you assume the identity of that which you think others want you to be in order to assimilate. It’s what makes both films so easily relatable for parents of the kids who perhaps quite get it but will reward multiple re-watches as they get older.

The first film was the brain child of writer director Pete Docter now head honcho at Pixar and he hands over the reins to Kelsey Mann in his feature film debut.  There’s a number of very funny moments throughout with a few throwaway gags that are laugh out loud funny (keep an eye on Lance Slashblade’s walk in the back of several shots) and a subversive dig at cheap cartoons with a character called Pouchy, a kind of talking bum bag that stores all manner of items for all occasions and Anger finally losing his cool with him.

The first film had an almost impossible to resist tear jerker of an ending (especially if you are a parent of young children) which this sequel doesn’t quite have but there’s enough here to ensure that an Inside Out threequel is more than welcome with further emotions added to the mix. After a patchy few years  Inside Out 2 is a rerun to form for Pixar and deserves to be the summers big earner.

….and stay to the very end for and end credit scene!

related feature : Terry Gilliam talks to us about a Time Bandits sequel

related feature : How they made those fire and water characters for Pixar’s ‘Elemental’

Here’s the Inside Out 2 trailer…..

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