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‘Inside Out 2’ Press Conference with Director Kelsey Mann


Pixar's 'Inside Out 2'.

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.


  • There were a total of nine emotions in the original pitch.
  • The sequel will explore the minds and emotions of a teenager.
  • Finding the new voices for ‘Inside Out 2’.

Pixar Animation’s upcoming sequel ‘Inside Out 2’ will see the journey of Riley in her teenage years. Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Fear are gearing up for brand new adventures for the next chapter in Riley’s life, but unbeknownst to them, everything they know is about to change.

During the long lead day presentation at the Pixar Animation Studio in Emeryville, California, director Kelsey Mann (‘Good Dinosaur’) and producer Mark Nielson held a press conference to discuss the sequel.

Related Article: Director Kelsey Mann Presents Footage from Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’

When it comes to crafting the next chapter, Mann has some big shoes to fill. 2015’s ‘Inside Out’ was directed by Pete Docter, who is now the Chief Creative Officer for Pixar. The film won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature at the 88th Academy Award. Mann talks about the pressure of needing to make something great, but he was up for the challenge, “There’s nobody’s feet I’d rather follow than that man.”

Kelsey Mann is photographed on September 25, 2013 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif.

Kelsey Mann is photographed on September 25, 2013 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar.

On taking over for the sequel and following in Docter’s footsteps:

Kelsey Mann: I’ve really been following Pete’s footsteps for a long time. But I feel nothing but, you know, excitement. Joy is at my console and, of course, you’re like you wanna make sure you’re doing right to everyone that loves the original film. I wanna do Pete proud. I wanna do everybody who loved the original proud. I’m just more excited than I am scared.

The New Emotions

Pixar's 'Inside Out 2'.

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Anxiety, Envy, Embarrassment, and Ennui join the original five emotions for ‘Inside Out 2’. Mann reveals that more emotions were originally planned – nine, to be exact.

Kelsey Mann: Nine new emotions showed up. I really wanted Joy to feel overwhelmed by all of these new emotions that showed up. I was like well, let’s have a lot show up. Then you couldn’t keep track. There were so many emotions and they all canceled each other out because you couldn’t keep up with everybody. My first note from the first screening was simplify.

The director mentions the many emotions that didn’t make the cut for both films, including the emotion Schadenfreude, which means joy or satisfaction felt at someone else’s expense. Pete Doctor originally had the idea of having Schadenfreude in the first film, so Mann wanted to try again but it was ultimately cut from the film.

To help narrow down the number of new emotions, Mann and Nielson enlist the help of Dacher Keltner, a professor at Berkeley who also served as the emotional expert on the first movie.

The Mind of a Teenager

Pixar's 'Inside Out 2'.

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Mann knew he wanted to pitch the idea of exploring Riley’s mind as a teenager for the sequel. He speaks about the drama that would go on, as well as hilarious moments to highlight in the film:

Kelsey Mann: I looked into what happens in our brains at that age, and it’s a lot. There’s a lot that goes on. It gave us everything that we kinda need for a Pixar movie. There’s a lot of drama that goes on. But also it’s really funny. Like, I could come up with a lot of really good gags about Riley being inside the mind of a teenager.

When it came to deciding which of the new emotions would take control at the console inside Riley’s mind, Mann knew it had to be Anxiety. Conferring with emotions expert Dacher Keltner, they focused on the self-conscious emotions, “at this age, you start, we’re hard wired at this age to start to become really self-conscious.”

Kelsey Mann: In part, we’re doing it because when you’re a kid, you’ve got your parents and your caregivers taking care of you. Eventually, you’re gonna have to take care of yourself. That’s why we’re hard wired to like, push our parents and our caregivers away is so that we can become independent people that can take care of ourselves.

Mann also touches on a teenager’s need to fit in and feel accepted.

Kelsey Mann: How do I fit in? Do you like me? It’s all about fitting in at that age. It’s part of our design of who we are because if you don’t like me, you’re gonna banish me and I’m gonna go out into the woods and die alone. So, that’s why we kind of worry so much about what others think about us at that age. It kinda turns on and it kinda never goes away. You kinda have to manage it, which is a big reason why I’m making this movie. So, that’s why we ended up going towards the emotions that we have in the film now.

As a father, Mann speaks to how important and personal this story is to him.

Kelsey Mann: A big reason why I’m making this movie is I want to make it for everyone but I’m also making it for my little girl. I’m making it for my daughter. I wish I had a movie like this when I was a teenager.

Finding the Voices for ‘Inside Out 2’

Pixar's 'Inside Out 2'.

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The film sees the return of Amy Poehler as Joy, Phyllis Smith as Sadness, and Lewis Black as Anger. Tony Hale as Fear and Liza Lapira as Disgust (taking over for Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling) join the cast. Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri, Adèle Exarchopoulos, and Paul Walter Hauser voice the new emotions.

When cast for the new emotions, Mann and Nielson looked for actors who embodied the characters they were building.

Mark Nielsen: The process, we kinda take it emotion by emotion and what we’re looking for is for actors out there that purely embody the character that we are building. So, you know, going back to the first film, Lewis Black, when you think about Anger, and if you’ve seen any of his comedy, there was no question that there wasn’t anybody else that could play that character.

When it came to casting Maya Hawke for Anxiety, the creative team had a very funny and unexpected story, where Mann auditioned the actress from Disney World.

Kelsey Mann: So, we went out to do an audition with Maya, and Mark [Nielsen] was like, “Good news is she said, yes, she would love to audition and meet with you. Bad news is it’s during your vacation.” So, me and my kids, we were all at Disney World. I’m like, “I’m at Disney World.” He’s like “Don’t worry, we’ll figure something out.” So, I went to Disney World, and I was at EPCOT.

The casting team for Pixar took Mann through the backlots of EPCOT, through the Mexico Pavilion, and auditioned Hawke via Zoom. Mann was so happy with her audition he burst into tears.

Kelsey Mann: She absolutely crushed it. My favorite part was, at the end of it, I talked about what I wanted the movie to be about and she just immediately connected with it. I think I even cried as she was talking. I walked away and called you and were like “oh my God, she’s perfect.” Then I went back into EPCOT and continued my vacation. It was hilarious.

‘Inside Out 2’ Is Also A Parental Movie

Pixar's 'Inside Out 2'.

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

While the story takes place inside Riley’s mind, the sequel also serves as a parental movie, inspired by Mann and Nielsen’s own lives as parents to teenagers. The film also highlights Joy’s protective nature when it comes to Riley.

Kelsey Mann: When I started, my daughter was 13 and my son was 14. I’m like this is the exact age I want her to be in the movie. So they’re immediately right there. You’re always pulling from your lives in every movie I’ve done here. We’re always talking about what it’s like to be alive and be a person, a father, a husband, you know, whatever it may be. So, you’re always kind of putting that into the movie.

Pixar's 'Inside Out 2'.

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Mark Nielsen: Yeah. This really is a parental story, and even though it takes place in Riley’s mind, she is kind of the set piece and there’s something incredibly universal about this story and these emotions that we all have. Even Joy who’s the protagonist of this story, has a very parental view of Riley and all the emotions do, right? They’re there to serve her. They’re there to do their very best to do whatever they need to protect their girl and to kind of steer her in the right way. So, even the original film was based on Pete Docter’s observations of his daughter as she was growing up and going through change and becoming a young teen. So, having the parental lens on this film has been incredibly helpful.

What Else Is There To Know About ‘Inside Out 2?’

Pixar's 'Inside Out 2'.

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

  • There is a 4*Town easter egg in the movie
  • There was a land called Procrastination Land inside Riley’s brain – a land that would always be under construction and never finished. Ultimately, Procrastinating Land did not make the final cut of the film.
  • The baggage Anxiety carries during her first appearance in the film originally belonged to Guilt, one of the nine emotions that didn’t make the cut.
  • This is the first Pixar animated feature film to have a female composer – Andrea Datzman

‘Inside Out 2’ arrives in theaters on July 14, 2024.

“Make room for new emotions.”

Not Yet Rated1 hr 40 minJun 14th, 2024

Showtimes & Tickets

Teenager Riley’s mind headquarters is undergoing a sudden demolition to make room for something entirely unexpected: new Emotions! Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and… Read the Plot

What Is the Plot of ‘Inside Out 2’?

Following the 2015 movie, ‘Inside Out 2’ will return to the mind of Riley (Kensington Tallman) as she enters her teenage years. Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Liza Lapira), and Fear (Tony Hale) have their hands full as Riley experiences life-changing moments, along with Headquarters going under a sudden demolition to make room for something completely unexpected – brand new Emotions. Experience an emotional rollercoaster as the sequel introduces Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser), Envy (Ayo Edebiri), and Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos), who will share Headquarters with the original 5 Emotions.

Who Is the Voice Cast of ‘Inside Out 2’?

  • Amy Poehler as Joy
  • Phyllis Smith as Sadness
  • Lewis Black as Anger
  • Tony Hale as Fear
  • Liza Lapira as Disgust
  • Maya Hawke as Anxiety
  • Ayo Edebiri as Envy
  • Adèle Exarchopoulos as Ennui
  • Paul Walter Hauser as Embarrassment
  • Kensington Tallman as Riley Andersen
Inside Out 2 logo

Pixar’s Inside Out 2 logo. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

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