INSIDE OUT 2 Shows Us “The Joy Of The Lord Is Your Strength”

INSIDE OUT 2 Shows Us “The Joy Of The Lord Is Your Strength”

By Dr. Ted Baehr, MOVIEGUIDE® Publisher

Photo from Readl3D on Instagram

The Bible teaches that “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10c), a uniquely Biblical belief not emphasized in other religions. When we embrace this scripture, our strength is invigorated and renewed in the presence of God.  

 In INSIDE OUT 2, Joy is the leader of Riley’s emotions. However, Joy finds herself sidelined when Riley hits puberty, and other emotions like Anxiety and Fear take center stage. Amidst the chaos of adolescence, Anxiety takes over, filling Riley with fear about not making the high school hockey team. She abandons her two friends and focuses solely 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 an allegory pointing to the restoring power of the fruits of the Spirit. The film features an extremely Christian point of view. As shown at MOVIEGUIDE®, the closer a movie is to a Christian perspective, the more successful it is at the box office.  

 Some of our Inkling Entertainment Industry trainees had wonderful insights: 

 “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 own insecurities in an imaginative journey of truth. 

“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 s2ll an importance for a permanent joy in our life.” 

 Another trainee noted:  

 “…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. 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?” 

“By the end of the movie, we learn that it is possible to overcome Anxiety with Joy, as Joy regains her rightful place as the leader of all emotions. The movie emphasizes that we do not have to be defined by our failures. We are constantly evolving, changing, and adapting to our circumstances. When we fail or make mistakes, we must extend grace to ourselves and seek forgiveness. In one of the film’s final moments, Anxiety has literally transformed into a storm of restlessness, trying to control situations beyond her reach. Joy’s words encourage her to let go, teaching us that when life’s storms come, we can face all the uncertainty they bring with Joy.” 

 And, another: 

 I felt challenged to be more joyful. To let “Jesus take the wheel” and not try and figure things out alone. The film really drove the message home that people will let one emotion take control of them and cause them to be doomed to being stuck in an unrealistic and unreasonable lifestyle. I also loved the theme of joy in forgiveness and restoration of friendships, as well as finding joy in being yourself.   

 In fact, there were many more brilliant insights.   

INSIDE OUT 2 is a wonderful uplifting movie. 

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