Inside Out 2 Reviews: What Are Critics' First Reactions?

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Inside Out 2 Envy and Anger

Inside Out 2 had its first screenings for critics, as they shared their initial reactions to Disney and Pixar's 2024 sequel.

Inside Out 2 is Pixar’s 28th full-length film, following up with the pre-teen from the first movie, Riley, as she moves into the early stages of puberty and learns what her teenage years have in store for her.

Thus far, the press has only seen the sequel’s first half hour of footage, although that alone yielded quite positive reactions.

Critics' Reviews & Reactions for Inside Out 2

Inside Out 2 all emotions together
Inside Out 2

Following the first official screenings for Inside Out 2, critics shared their first official reactions and reviews on X (formerly Twitter).

Variety's Jazz Tangcay praised the film for bringing "Pixar back to top form," highlighting the sequel's new characters and calling it "one of the best sequels in ages:"

"'Inside Out 2' heralds Pixar back to top form. Everything from animation to story and the introduction of Anxiety, Envy, and Embarrassment make this one of the best sequels in ages. Filled with great laughs, plenty of easter eggs, and lots of emotion. This is animated perfection."

ComingSoon's Jonathan Sim teased "a fresh sequel" that explores important concepts like "puberty, making new friends, [and] trying to stand out:"

"'Inside Out 2' is a fresh sequel to the first movie that delves into the chaos of puberty, making new friends, trying to stand out, and the anxiety that comes with it. Anxiety, Envy, Embarrassment, and Ennui are wonderful new additions to a hilarious adventure."

Digital Spy's Ian Sandwell sees "no need to be anxious" about the film, admitting it "doesn't hit quite as hard emotionally [as the first movie]" but it still "delivers a relatable message in a winning way:"

"No need to be anxious about 'Inside Out 2.' The Pixar sequel approaches growing up in the same funny, inventive and affecting way as the first movie. It doesn't hit quite as hard emotionally (no 'take her to the moon' moment), but it delivers a relatable message in a winning way."

ComicBook's Joe Schmidt compared the sequel to the original by noting it did not "have the emotional gut punch" of its predecessor, but he teased "a more complex look at adolescence" in the new one:

"'Inside Out 2' was a pretty fitting sequel for Pixar. Didn’t have the emotional gut punch of the first but was a more complex look at adolescence with the same humor and heart. Of course, it’s going to be another hit, the kids are going to love it."

ComicBook's Brandon Davis offered similar commentary, indicating the second one does not "hit the same emotional depth" fans saw in 2015. However, the new emotions won him over, particularly Maya Hawke's Anxiety:

"'Inside Out 2' is quite fantastic. It didn’t hit the same emotional depth of the first but, much like Riley, it has matured and gotten bigger. The new emotions are fantastic, especially Anxiety. Great sentiments for kids and parents to feel, all with an engaging pace. Loved it."

Calling Inside Out 2 "a MASTERPIECE" and "A JOYFUL WONDER," The Movie Podcast highlighted Hawke and Amy Poehler's performances and let fans know they will be "experiencing all the sweet emotions:"

"'Inside Out 2' is a MASTERPIECE! A JOYFUL WONDER from beginning to end that truly personifies anxiety. Maya Hawke and Amy Poehler are as lovely as ever, with newcomers adding even more brilliance. This touching Pixar classic will have you experiencing all the sweet emotions."

How Will Fans React to Inside Out 2?

Inside Out 2 has seen a great deal of praise in the months leading up to its release. Industry insiders have even heard promising reports about the sequel, with Matt Belloni's "What I'm Hearing" newsletter saying, "Everyone I've talked to says the opposite [of it's bad]."

Much of this positive feedback appears to be correlating with the handful of new emotions starring in the movie, with Riley learning all about feelings like anxiety, nostalgia, envy, embarrassment, and more.

Confirmed to be the latest addition to the long-standing shared Pixar universe theory, Inside Out 2 looks set to add another emotionally thrilling adventure to the studio's impressive legacy.

Now, as fans and press finally get to see past the first half-hour of footage and dive into its full 100-minute runtime, only time will tell just how much success can be garnered in 2024.

Inside Out 2 will arrive in theaters on Friday, June 14.

Read more about Inside Out 2 below:

First Look at Inside Out 2's Deleted Emotions Revealed by Disney

Inside Out 2 Gets Unsurprising Rating

Meet the Big Bad of Inside Out 2: Maya Hawke's Anxiety

- In This Article: Inside Out 2
Release Date
June 14, 2024
Amy Poehler
Phyllis Smith
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.