‘Inside Out 2’: Fun, Insightful Aging-Up of Mental Health Dialogue - Juice 107.3

‘Inside Out 2’: Fun, Insightful Aging-Up of Mental Health Dialogue

The beauty of the Inside Out movies is in their ability to take psychological concepts and make them tangible.

By Juice 107.3 Network Thursday 13 Jun 2024MoviesReading Time: 3 minutes

If you can believe it, it’s been 10 years since the first Inside Out movie was released.
Key points
  • Inside Out 2 offers hope that Disney hasn’t totally lost its winning appeal.
  • The beauty of the Inside Out movies is in their ability to take psychological concepts and make them tangible.
  • Inside Out 2 is in cinemas now.

In the years since, it’s only become more important for us to have a grasp on our mental health, and Inside Out 2 ages up perfectly to combat the need at hand.

This time around, Riley (Kensington Tallman) has just turned 13 and with her entry into puberty come the new emotions of Anxiety, Envy, Embarrassment and Ennui (“the boredom”). Joining the ones we know and love – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger – the emotions must find their place in Riley’s sense of self and face the big question of who controls her.

After a few dud releases from Disney – think The Marvels, Lightyear and WishInside Out 2 offers hope that the animation juggernaut hasn’t totally lost its winning appeal.

Inside Out 2 offers hope that Disney hasn’t totally lost its winning appeal.

Without the agenda-laden script so many parents are wary of in kids’ entertainment, Inside Out 2 powerfully addresses the role of emotions in various stages of life, and the weighty impact feelings have on our beliefs.

Riley’s adolescent years are complicated. She’s learning where she fits with her friends moving into high school, how to avoid rejection and what she’s willing to compromise on for acceptance. Alongside those changes there are new ideas popping into her mind: Is she a good friend? Is she a good enough person? Has she let her parents down?

The beauty of the Inside Out movies is in their ability to take psychological concepts and make them tangible.

With Joy (Amy Poehler) starting to feel like she’s losing Riley to the clutches of Anxiety, a battle begins to help Riley loosen the grip her emotions are having on her, and sort through some of the unaddressed corners in her mind.

The beauty of the Inside Out movies is in their ability to take psychological concepts about emotional suppression, identity formation and the creation of self and make them tangible. It’s a gift to audiences who struggle to see how feelings can manipulate, mislead and be downright unhelpful.

What we learn in Inside Out 2, is that each emotion has a role, but none of them are meant to be in total control.

It’s good advice, and it’s also scriptural: Romans 8:6 says, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (NIV).

If we let our emotions, our flesh, determine the course of our lives, there are limits to how beneficial that can be. But if we lean into the Spirit’s guidance, that’s a surefire way to arrive at an internal state of life peace.

Inside Out 2 is in cinemas now.


article supplied with thanks to Laura Bennett. Laura is the host of Hope Afternoons and producer of a number of our podcasts, including UNDISTRACTED with Laura Bennett. 

Feature image: used with permission.