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Laramie Movie Scope: Inside Out 2

Nine years after, growing up

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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June 25, 2024 – Negotiating puberty, hormones and friendship strains, Riley is at a crossroads in her life, trying to decide between staying loyal to her old friends, or heading into a more sociopathic direction by getting ahead by any means necessary. The story is set two years after the time of the first film, released in 2015.

The familiar emotions of her childhood are joined by a number of new ones in this sequel, mainly Anxiety, who takes control of Riley when she becomes afraid of not making the high school hockey team and not being accepted by the established hockey team players.

When Anxiety takes over, he conspires to lock up Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust in a vault, so that he and the other new emotions, Envy, Embarrassment, and Ennui can take over. The old emotions know that Riley is headed for disaster, so they have to work together to escape the vault and get back to the control room.

With Anxiety in control, Riley engages in anti-social behavior, like breaking and entering, and alienating her best friends, Bree and Grace because she is afraid they are not cool enough to fit in with her new ambitions. She pretends to have more advanced, sophisticated tastes in order to curry favor with her new, older friends, mainly a charismatic member of the high school hockey team, Val Ortiz.

Complicating matters is the fact that Bree and Grace are not going to the same high school that Riley will be attending, and she feels abandoned because of this. Riley feels she needs to make new friends, or she will ending up being a loner, an outsider at high school.

Escaping the vault, and trying to restore Riley's old “sense of self” from a remote scrap heap of memories requires a long and colorful journey for the old bottled up emotions. Sadness and Embarrassment find themselves in the unfamiliar position of allies trying to save Riley from disaster.

The battle for supremacy between Joy and Anxiety results in an emotional crisis for Riley. This forces the emotions into a new working relationship, and a change in strategy for dealing with painful memories, which had been buried.

As usual for Pixar films, colorful, imaginative animation is coupled with evocative emotions to create an animated story with emotional power. Some people even cry when they see this movie. It isn't really a sad movie, but it is a movie about childhood's end, and growing up.

Some people promote childhood as an ideal, and discount the qualities of being an adult. Indeed, a number of movies are built on the idealization of childhood, and childlike faith in the reality of imaginary things. This is a “coming of age” movie that is not, like so many others, built around some traumatizing tragedy, but around the kinds of emotional setbacks encountered in everyday life. It is a movie with a surprisingly adult point of view, and it promotes the positive qualities of adulthood.

Despite all the angst, this is a very positive movie, and is well worth the watch. It rates a B. It is being shown in 2D and 3D in many theaters. I watched the 3D version.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff (no extra charges apply). I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2024 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at dalek three zero one nine at gmail dot com [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]