‘Inside Out 2’ is for the grown-ups | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Joy and Sadness in “Inside Out 2”
Joy and Sadness in “Inside Out 2” | Photos from Disney and Pixar

The much-awaited sequel carries lessons learned from the first and applies them to a 13-year-old Riley and a much older audience



“Inside Out 2” is now officially one of the biggest films of the year. Under just a week since its release, the movie has amassed a whopping $295 million at the worldwide box office, the biggest opening weekend of 2024. 

A total of $140 million is reportedly taken from theaters outside the United States, with $6.7 million coming from the Philippines, where the film recorded the third-biggest opening day in the country.

In contrast, “Inside Out” clocked in at just under $860 million after its theatrical run.

The latest Disney sequel has undoubtedly captured many hearts throughout its limited release. Its already staggering numbers will surely rise to perhaps match or even surpass those of its predecessor. And that’s in large part to the film applying lessons from the first film to a much older audience. 

It is still by all accounts a children’s movie, yet through the introduction of newer emotions, particularly anxiety, “Inside Out 2” casts a wider net for watchers who can relate with Riley to an even deeper level. 

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“Inside Out” was about making sense of our emotions at an elementary level. It introduced visualizations and rationalizations in an effort to help children understand an abstract concept—how our mind works. We learned that our emotions are not independent of one another and can exist simultaneously at any given moment. 

emotions from inside out 2
Embarrassment, anxiety, envy, and ennui

We also learned that there are no such things as bad emotions. These are present to guide us and protect us. Fear, disgust, anger, joy, and sadness—each one is a response to particular stimuli that we shouldn’t ignore. Fear warns us of things that could hurt us and disgust steers us away from likely sources of disease. 

The same applies to sadness. When a situation calls for it, it is a response we should wholeheartedly embrace because there is a reason to be sad. There is an emotion for every situation and to let one reign supreme is not only unhealthy but potentially dangerous.

Yet, “Inside Out” looks at these things in hindsight. By that, adults who’ve watched it (should) already understand the concept it’s trying to convey. It’s merely an interesting point of view that puts things into perspective. 

With “Inside Out 2,” it still explains these little cogs and machinations in our head as if talking to a child. However, it uses subject matter that is not only applicable to all ages but also scenarios adults and teenagers may be going through at this very moment.

scene from inside out 2
Puberty, when everything started crashing down

And it can all be possibly watered down to widespread mutual anxiety and the circulating screenshot that includes dialogue from the film that says, “Maybe anxiety is right, as we get older, we feel less joy.” 

Sure, it’s part of that, the line may even resonate with many. But without delving into some spoilers, “Inside Out 2” goes much deeper than just depicting how anxiety operates. It explores our identity as people and the challenges we face as we go on to discover who we truly are.

Just as the first film taught us that our emotions are complex and can coexist with one another at any given moment, its sequel hones in on that point to show us that we too aren’t so one-dimensional either. And with soul-searching and purpose-finding rampant in every age, it’s a warm hug for the lost and wandering. It’s definitely not just about puberty.

YouTuber Jeremy Jahns said it best: “It’s a fun adventure as well as a very relatable, personal human story. You see, this is really a film about moving on. That can have turmoil—it can even be painful. But doing that without losing the essence of who you are—that’s the goal, that’s what we’re dealing with here. And what I love about it is that it’s a story that everybody who has ever lived can relate to.”

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