Inside Out 2 ruins one of Inside Out’s best gags — and it needed to

The Evolution of Emotions in Inside Out 2

Pixar’s announcement of new characters in Inside Out 2 sparked debates among fans, particularly regarding the introduction of new emotions in Riley’s mind. The original film focused on five core emotions representing an 11-year-old girl named Riley: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. With the sequel delving into Riley’s puberty journey, new emotions like Anxiety, Envy, Embarrassment, and Ennui emerge, raising questions about their relevance, negativity, and absence from the first movie.

Continuity Conundrum or Creative Courage?

Despite concerns about the continuity of emotions presented in the sequel, Inside Out 2 does not directly address the absence of these new emotions in the original film. However, this omission does not detract from the film’s emotional impact or depth. Spoilers for the credits gag in Inside Out and insight into Inside Out 2 to follow.

Internal Inconsistencies and Visual Symbolism

The addition of Anxiety in Inside Out 2 prompts questions about the intricate world-building established by the original movie, especially with its peek into other characters’ minds. While the sequel attempts to reconcile this through brief appearances of adult versions of Anxiety, it remains a questionable afterthought that leaves continuity gaps.

In both films, the visual representation of emotions serves a symbolic purpose, offering insight into characters and their relationships. However, the absence of Anxiety in previous glimpses into various minds highlights a minor inconsistency that slightly diminishes the universality of human emotions.

Metaphorical Expansion vs. Scientific Rigidity

The introduction of new emotions in Inside Out 2 aligns with the metaphorical exploration of puberty and the subjective experience of adolescence. Rather than conforming to strict neuroscientific accuracy, the film prioritizes emotional truths over literal representations, showcasing Riley’s internal struggles and growth through imaginative storytelling.

Director Kelsey Mann and the writing team acknowledge the practical constraints of retrofitting the sequel to fit the original narrative fully. While some viewers may find the addition of new emotions disconcerting, the creative decision stems from a desire to authentically capture Riley’s emotional journey without compromising the integrity of the story.

Creative Risk-Taking vs. Narrative Expectations

By incorporating new emotions into the sequel, the filmmakers of Inside Out 2 aimed to avoid falling into the trap of formulaic storytelling seen in many sequels. Consulting experts on adolescent brain development, the team crafted a narrative that explores the complexities of growing up and the evolving emotional landscape, resonating with audiences on a profound level.

While the introduction of new emotions may not sit well with all viewers, it serves as a creative exploration of human experiences, encouraging a deeper understanding of adolescence and the complexities of emotional growth.

In the end, George Miller’s belief that compelling storytelling trumps strict continuity reminds us to appreciate the narrative journey of Inside Out 2 for its emotional richness and thematic exploration. Inside Out 2 is now showing in theaters.