Inside Out 2 parents guide

Inside Out 2 Parent Guide

This clever film provides a tender, empathetic look at the challenges of early adolescence, and does so with plenty of laughs.,

Overall A

Theaters: Riley, now 13 and setting off on new experiences, finds her brain turned upside down with the arrival of new emotions, led by Anxiety.

Release date June 14, 2024

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity A
Substance Use A

Why is Inside Out 2 rated PG? The MPAA rated Inside Out 2 PG for thematic material

Run Time: 100 minutes

Parent Movie Review

On the cusp of thirteen, Riley (Kensington Tallman) is enjoying a life of friendship and hockey, with Joy (Amy Poehler) at the helm of the console inside her mind. Joy has learned her lessons from Inside Out, and works together with the other emotion, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Fear (voiced by Phyllis Smith, Liza Lapira, Lewis Black, and Tony Hale), to ensure that Riley enjoys a rich, well-rounded life. Then the Puberty Alarm goes off and a demolition crew start knocking down windows and messing around with the console.

When the dust settles, Joy and her friends find themselves dealing with a new, hyper-sensitive console. As they try to figure it out, Anxiety (Maya Hawkee) appears in the company of Envy, Embarrassment, and Ennui (Ayo Edebiri, Paul Walter Hauser, and Adèle Exarchopoulos), buzzing with energy and full of ideas about how to provide Riley with a successful adolescence.

On the way to hockey camp, Riley learns that her best friends won’t be attending the same high school in the fall. Anxiety quickly highjacks the console and generates alarming scenarios and detailed plans to ensure that Riley aces hockey camp and has friends at her new school. But Anxiety’s schemes undermine Riley’s sense of self and it’s up to Joy and her old friends to figure out how to help Riley remember who she really is…

Released by Pixar in 2015, the original Inside Out was a brilliant film – insightful, funny, and appealing to audiences of all ages. Inside Out 2 reproduces the magic and even improves on it. This film provides a tender, empathetic look at the insecurity and social agony of early adolescence and will be appreciated by young viewers and parents who haven’t forced themselves to forget those painfully cringey moments.

Adults will also enjoy the film’s humor: in the screening I attended the theater was regularly filled with waves of laughter from kids and parents. There are some hysterical sight gags (Anxiety arrives with lots of baggage and Ennui is constantly hooked to her phone), some clever moments (Riley’s use of sarcasm creates a chasm inside her head), and more one-liners than I can quote. Best of all, all the humor comes with virtually no negative content, aside from some slapstick falls, a few explosions, and some moments of peril. This film is geared at older kids and tweens, but most children will be fine with it, unless they are unusually sensitive.

The best family films have something for everyone and Inside Out 2 has plenty to offer. In addition to giving parents a reminder of what it feels like to be thirteen, it’s also full of age-appropriate messages for kids. This is a story about friendship, loyalty, being true to your values, appreciating yourself, and being resilient in the face of change. In a world where kids are overwhelmed by anxiety and other mental health issues, this script offers a reassuring look at managing overwhelming emotions and does so with laughter and a light touch. Sophisticated psychology it ain’t, but this film is well worth watching as a family. Who knows – you might even learn something along the way.

Directed by Kelsey Mann. Starring Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Ayo Edebiri. Running time: 100 minutes. Theatrical release June 14, 2024. Updated

Watch the trailer for Inside Out 2

Inside Out 2
Rating & Content Info

Why is Inside Out 2 rated PG? Inside Out 2 is rated PG by the MPAA for thematic material

Violence: There are brief moments of peril, some slapstick falls, and a few explosions.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: None.
Alcohol / Drug Use:   None.

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Inside Out 2 Parents' Guide

What triggers the change in Riley’s behavior? Have you ever encountered a change in schools or friendships that has caused stress or anxiety? How does fear of change affect you? What strategies have you found that help you manage change? Is there someone who helps you cope when things are difficult?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

This film is a sequel to the excellent Pixar original Inside Out. Other animated movies that can help kids address anxiety and uncomfortable feelings include Wonder Park, Orion and the Dark, Luck, Up, and Ron’s Gone Wrong (which also tackles the social challenges of early adolescence).