INSIDE OUT 2 – Review by T.J. Callahan

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Inside Out 2: Keep the best and toss the rest.

Jiminy mother lovin toaster strudel (!), puberty has risen in Riley and construction crews have to make room for all the new emotions taking over the now teenager’s daily life in Inside Out 2.

It’s been 10 years since Pixar ventured into the mind of a young girl who was depressed about leaving her friends and moving from Minnesota to San Francisco, but it’s only been two years in the life of Riley. She’s 13 and seems to be happy, doing well in school and playing hockey with her two best friends. Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust and Sadness have kept Riley’s “head” quarters running smoothly, but when Anxiety and her 3 E crew of Envy, Ennui and Embarrassment show up, cranium chaos ensues.

Inside out 2 is about Joy vs Anxiety. The future vs now. Not who Riley is, but who she needs to be. The message is don’t lose your sense of self and be kind. The key is the voices in Riley’s head need to work together to make sure she is ready for the next stage of life.

Amy Poehler reprises her role as Joy, the master of Riley’s mind. Lewis Black and Phyllis Smith also return as Anger and Sadness. New voices for original and fresh characters include. Tony Hale, Ayo Edebiri, SNL’s James Austin Johnson as the catch all Pouchy and Maya Hawke who’s on a high as Anxiety and definitely gives Joy a run for her money.

After a decade of anticipation, Inside Out 2 is worth the wait, but, while it looks great on the big screen, the animated mind maze could easily have gone straight to the Disney Channel. It’s still creative and witty, filled with classic teen angst antics and loveable characters, but it no longer has the excitement and wonder audiences felt seeing the original. New emotions were a must, but because we are familiar with the premise some of the awe is lacking.

Inside Out 2 runs the gamut of emotions. It’s thoughtful, silly, sarcastic, brave, focused, eager, curious, open-minded and satisfying. My husband Ricky would also include boredom. He only had 1 1⁄2 👁’s open. It gets a 7 from me.

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T. J. Callahan

Texas Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the Marconi Award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT in Houston to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for Houston Radio Platinum and 101 Gold , Southern New Mexico's favorite radio station. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and The Sam Malone Show on KNTH in Houston. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her Friday and Saturdays on houstonradioplatinum.com and on Friday afternoons on the Leslie T. Travis Show on KVLC FM in Las Cruces. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association and the Houston Film Critics Society. She truly believes everything in life is one degree of Blazing Saddles.