The Critics Have Spoken... So, How Does Inside Out 2 Measure Up To The Beloved Original Film?

The original gang are back with some new additions in Inside Out 2
The original gang are back with some new additions in Inside Out 2 Pixar

One of the most beloved Pixar films in the studio’s history is getting a sequel, with Inside Out 2 hitting cinemas this weekend.

The new movie takes us back into the mind of a now 13-year-old Riley and the mission control centre of emotions inside her head.

However, this time around, there’s a whole host of new feelings added into the mix, thanks to the help of a stellar expanded cast, including The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri as Envy, Stranger ThingsMaya Hawke as Anxiety and Passages’ Adèle Exarchopoulos as Ennui.

The first reviews for Inside Out 2 have been hugely positive, praising the sequel for living up to the magic of the first film. That being said, others have said that it’s missing a certain spark that made the original so popular.

Here’s a sample of what critics have had to say so far...

BBC (4/5)

“Inside Out 2 glimmers with diamond-hard truths about the complex business of being a human being – especially a teenage human being – but it’s still a fast-paced and playful comedy adventure with even more jokes and more puns than Inside Out.”

Empire (4/5)

“Through this decade so far, Pixar’s films have held great ideas that haven’t quite reached their full potential. This is probably its best film since Coco, and best sequel since Toy Story 3.”

The Independent (4/5)

“It’s a lovely sequel, without a trace of cynicism to it, that also by necessity lacks a little of the freshness and originality of 2022’s Turning Red or 2021’s Luca…What was once a lesson in the necessity of negative emotions, such as sadness, has now matured into its second stage: a bittersweet, tear-jerking reminder that we’re better, more rounded people when we embrace our flaws and insecurities.”

Inside Out 2 reintroduces us to Riley as a 13-year-old
Inside Out 2 reintroduces us to Riley as a 13-year-old Pixar

Digital Spy (4/5)

“Wanting Inside Out 2 to match the first movie was always set to be an unlikely challenge as it was such a unique concept. What the sequel does achieve is being a worthy follow-up that expands the world with brilliant tweaks to the concept, as well as delivering witty gags that simplify big ideas.”


“New feelings propel a Pixar sequel enchanting enough to second that emotion… Inside Out 2 marks a triumphant creative return for Pixar, bringing off the thing that this studio, at its best, has done better than anyone: finding the sweet spot that merges the gaze of children and adults.”

Rolling Stone

“Pixar has been good at tackling thorny emotional terrain in an accessible, translatable-for-all-ages way since Buzz first met Woody. When Inside Out went the extra step of giving us a literalized emotional terrain and rendering everything with such a heart-rending wallop, it lifted the bar that much higher. Inside Out 2 makes good on that film’s promise by making good on its next-step premise.”

The Irish Times (4/5)

“After a period of some ups and more downs, Pixar can at least boast of following up one of their later classics respectfully. [Inside Out 2] deserves the healthy audiences it will surely stir up.”

The Hollywood Reporter

“Delightful sequel set in turbulent early adolescence…The message of Inside Out 2 is as universal and good-hearted as that of its predecessor: You might not know from one minute to the next what emotion is driving a teenage mind, but every messy part of the mechanism has both function and beauty.”

Inside Out 2 welcomes new emotions into the fold
Inside Out 2 welcomes new emotions into the fold Pixar

The Guardian (3/5)

“There are some laughs, but it sees the teen transition in terms of a moral crisis, of abandoning and then reclaiming the niceness of childhood innocence; it’s a little bit convoluted and repetitive and, in its sanitised, Disneyfied way, this film can’t quite bring itself to mention the most important new teen emotion of all. Have the grown-ups in charge of this film really forgotten?”

IGN (7/10)

“While its chaotic new cast serves a clear purpose, Inside Out 2 is more metaphor than meaning. It explains plenty about the confusing emotions associated with puberty, often in intelligent ways, but it rarely lets them be felt or experienced, the way its predecessor did.”


“Pixar’s talky, uneventful sequel doesn’t have much fun in mind… Battle-weary parents of surly teens will have some fun here and there, especially when Ennui’s blasé influence opens up a ‘sar-chasm’ in Riley’s brain that makes everything sound, well, sarcastic. But, when all’s said and done, the stakes are so minor, it’s hard to imagine anyone will leave this desperate to see an Inside Out 3.”

IndieWire (C-)

“All brains and no heart, this disappointing sequel proves Pixar learned all the wrong lessons from its pandemic years… Pixar’s obsession with universal relatability results in another movie that feels more like a corporate spreadsheet than a glimpse into a real person’s brain.”

Inside Out 2 comes to UK cinemas on Friday 14 June.