inside out 2

In Nehemiah 8:10c, the Bible teaches that the Lord’s strength is our joy, a uniquely biblical belief that isn’t emphasized in other religions. When we embrace this verse, our strength is renewed and strengthened in God’s presence. In “Inside Out 2,” Joy is the leader of Riley’s emotions. However, Joy finds herself put to the side once Riley reaches puberty and other emotions like Fear and Anxiety take the spotlight. Amidst the chaos of adolescence, Anxiety takes over, filling Riley with fear about not making her high school’s hockey team.

She abandons her two friends and focuses on making the team and befriending Valencia, the team’s star player.  Joy fights to restore harmony in Riley’s mind. With the support of loyal emotions and Riley’s core beliefs, Joy regains control of Riley’s panic-stricken brain and discovers that strength comes from faithfulness. By embracing Joy, Riley learns the importance of repentance and asks for forgiveness. “Inside Out 2” teaches children critical spiritual lessons by promoting the virtues of the Bible.

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” “Inside Out 2” is a metaphor pointing to the restoring power of the fruits of the Spirit. The film features an extremely Christian point of view. One review of the film said, “Unlike many sequels, ‘Inside Out 2’ was captivating to watch. The film portrayed the battles of anxiety and insecurity with superb accuracy. The vulnerability shown through the storyline and by each character was both convicting and heartwarming. By realizing the importance of joy and how easily it can be taken away as we grow, audiences are asked to look at the root of their insecurities in an imaginative journey of truth.”

The review continued, “One concept that especially stood out in ‘Inside Out 2’  was the way Joy pursued Riley when she was controlled by negative emotions. ‘Inside Out 2’ shows us that despite our human complexity, there is still an importance for a permanent joy in our life.” Another review said, “What initially appeared to be a children’s film about emotions revealed itself as a nuanced metaphor for navigating the challenges of puberty, overcoming despair, and finding joy amidst an uncertain future.  In our increasingly postmodern world, Joy confronts the possibility that she no longer has a place in the growing complexities faced by Riley and, by extension, the audience as they transition into adulthood.”

It continued, “Anxiety, a new character, asserts that Joy is outdated and ill-equipped for the adult world. Consequently, Joy is relegated to the back of Riley’s mind, alongside Riley’s sense of self, while Anxiety frantically drives Riley into a state of worry and restlessness. The film seems to address a prevalent issue in today’s Gen-Z, anxiety-ridden world: “Can I truly be free from the shackles of Anxiety? Will it always rule my life?” If you haven’t already, hit your closest theater to see “Inside Out 2.”

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