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Inside Out 2 Review

Image: Pixar

It's very fitting that Pixar decided to bring out Inside Out 2 as we have all grown up quite a bit since last watching it. Nine years ago this was easily the best Pixar movie I’ve seen in many years. In some ways, I think it outshines the original, if only because it tackles the far more complex emotions teenagers (and their parents) grapple with and does it so well, with verve, humour and plenty of poignant moments. I laughed, cringed, and felt nostalgic. Seeing Riley as that little girl adjusting to enormous changes in her life was an enjoyable yet chaotic journey and trying to come out of her shell through accepting her feelings and learning to love her character to now viewing her as a pre-teen with all-new emotions. Riley loses her sense of self, as the emotions Joy, Sadness, Disgust and Fear are replaced with Anxiety, Embarrassment, Envy and Ennui (and occasionally Nostalgia). 


As the new emotions bombard Riley's brain, she faces many challenges about whether she's good enough, and whether people like her or not. As a whole, she's very confused about her identity which I know resonates a lot with teenagers, myself included. Riley's friendships and loyalties are tested when she believes she has to pick between the new hockey team or her longtime friends. Then, along comes a new character in the movie: the personification of Anxiety. Riley’s new emotion Anxiety demands her to become the best version of herself - even if it means going against her morals. Anxiety can be a draining, dangerous emotion to feel. It’s also hard to suppress; it's always wandering through our minds. I don't think it's a villainous emotion, as such I appreciate the way that Inside Out 2 gives anxiety a heart and some positive characteristics. 


One sentence Joy said resonated with me: “When you grow up, do you no longer need joy in your life?” Those words struck me. Do we stop finding joy in everything, even the small parts of life? Do I suppress being happy to come back to reality? That's not the type of living I want to experience. As a young adult, I feel I need to become more mature and sophisticated, but that doesn't have to mean not feeling joy in its full potential - allowing myself to be excited and feel on cloud nine if something goes my way or if I'm proud of myself I'm allowed to feel that way. So thank you, Joy, for always warming my heart and allowing me to feel blessed. I appreciated Joy and Sadness’s friendship. Through the turbulent relationship, we see in the first movie, their friendships blossom into loving relationships where they respect and see the value of one another. 


Needless to say, go and book your ticket to the movies right now to rejoice in your childhood to teenage emotions hitting the rough edges of puberty, chaos, heartache, and plain happiness.


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