Is “Inside Out 2 ”Appropriate for Kids? What to Know Before Seeing the Pixar Movie

‘Inside Out 2’ is rated PG for some thematic elements

<p>Disney/Pixar</p> The emotions in


The emotions in 'Inside Out 2' meeting Anxiety

Inside Out 2 has been dominating the box office since its June 14 release.

The sequel to the 2015 film Inside Out follows a now-teenage Riley as she starts puberty and experiences four new emotions: Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Envy (Ayo Edibiri), Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser) and Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos).

Riley’s already existing emotions — Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear — are cast aside as Anxiety takes over, and they must battle to restore Riley’s sense of self before Anxiety changes the core of who Riley is.

Though the story is targeted toward children, it has some elements that may be confusing for kids, including heavier emotions that they may not understand.

Here’s everything parents should know before taking their kids to see Inside Out 2.

The movie addresses puberty

<p>Disney/Pixar</p> The emotions in 'Inside Out 2' reacting to the puberty button


The emotions in 'Inside Out 2' reacting to the puberty button

The movie starts off with Joy and her team of emotions navigating Riley’s life as they have been for 13 years. However, on the morning she is set to go to hockey camp, an alarm starts going off in the emotions’ headquarters labeled “puberty” and the emotions are confused by what this may mean.

Soon, a construction crew wrecks their beloved headquarters and desk, controlling Riley’s feelings and introducing them to four new emotions that come with puberty, especially anxiety.

When Riley wakes up in the morning, she experiences a mood swing, with her emotions switching from anger to sadness to disgust at rapid speed as their corresponding characters wrestle for control of the switchboard and notice it reacts much more strongly to their touch.

Anxiety is the main antagonist

<p>Disney/Pixar</p> Anxiety introducing herself in 'Inside Out 2.'


Anxiety introducing herself in 'Inside Out 2.'

One of the main new emotions is Hawke’s Anxiety as she takes over at the helm of Riley’s feelings and banishes Joy and her colleagues, along with Riley’s sense of self, which is a tangible object in the film.

Inside Out 2 showcases how anxiety can take over someone’s brain and how it’s different from fear as it protects you from things you perceive will be a threat rather than actual threats in front of you, as described in the movie.

Throughout the film, Anxiety leads the way and causes Riley to start changing as a person — leaving her best friends behind and focusing so much on making the high school hockey team that it comes at the expense of others — all because of Anxiety’s perceived fears.

The story focuses on a person’s sense of self

<p>Disney/Pixar</p> Joy and Sadness in 'Inside Out 2'.


Joy and Sadness in 'Inside Out 2'.

One new concept in Inside Out 2 is the idea of a person’s sense of self developing as they get older. Joy explains to her fellow emotions that a shining object in the middle of their headquarters is Riley’s sense of self and its informed by memories she’s had that have established who she is as a person.

At the start of the movie, her sense of self is positive — that she is a “good person.” However, as Anxiety takes the lead and essentially throws out Riley’s sense of self, she builds a new one: one that tells Riley she’s “not good enough.”

The concept may be hard for young kids to understand, but is portrayed in an accessible manner with a physical object that represents Riley’s sense of self.

Peer pressure is a central theme

<p>Disney/Pixar</p> Embarrassment, Anxiety, Envy, and Ennui in 'Inside Out 2'.


Embarrassment, Anxiety, Envy, and Ennui in 'Inside Out 2'.

One of the main new concepts in Riley’s life now is how to combat her own anxiety to cave into peer pressure. Anxiety makes her choose to tag along with the older girls on the high school hockey team rather than her two best friends and to pretend she doesn’t like a boy band that she and her friends really do like just to impress the older girls.

Inside Out 2 portrays an anxiety attack

<p>Disney/Pixar</p> Joy and Anxiety in 'Inside Out 2'.


Joy and Anxiety in 'Inside Out 2'.

At the climax of the movie, Anxiety gains complete control of Riley and is unable to let go — causing Riley to process her new sense of self that is telling her she’s not good enough and to experience a panic attack.

The movie portrays this by showing Riley having a hard time breathing and regulating her breaths while Anxiety spins around in a nervous tornado-like storm in the emotions’ headquarters.

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