Inside Out 2 Director Confirms Pixar Sequel Will Be About Puberty & Anxiety

Inside Out 2 Director Confirms Pixar Sequel Will Be About Puberty & Anxiety


  • Inside Out 2 will be a direct continuation of the original film, focusing on Riley’s transition from child to teenager.
  • The sequel will explore the theme of puberty, aiming to depict the humor and challenges of this stage in a meaningful way.
  • New emotions, including anxiety, will be introduced in Riley’s mind, and the director hopes to start important conversations about mental health.

Disney and Pixar’s Inside Out 2, as many suspected, will be a direct continuation of the story presented in the original film and portray Riley’s transition from a child to a teenager, according to the film’s director. Released in 2015, Inside Out quickly became another Pixar classic, and it marked the beginning of a new era for the studio, which explores existential human dilemmas in depth. Films like Coco, Soul and Turning Red continued this legacy, and now with the sequel to the film directed by Pete Docter, they will expand the horizons even further.

Inside Out 2 will once again focus on Riley, but this time going through one of the most complicated phases in the life of a human being: puberty. Kelsey Mann, director of the movie, revealed to Empire Magazine that she considered different ideas, but puberty always seemed like the most important theme, and she kept coming back to it (via TheDirect):

“My original thought was to pitch three ideas … I want to see that thing [the Puberty button] go off. I explored other ideas, but I kept coming back to that. Eventually, I just pitched that to Pete. This is a gold mine for everything we love at Pixar … It’s got heart. It’s got emotion. It’s got humor. Puberty is hilarious, but it’s also a hard time in our lives. I want to say something meaningful about ourselves as humans, but told in an imaginative way.

At the end of the first movie, you saw all these beautiful swirls of memory, where you get Joy and Sadness in the same memory, or Anger and Disgust. I wanted to open this movie with them all in sync with one another and feeling they’re a great team. Until puberty hits.”

Related: What the Inside Out 2 Cast Looks Like in Real Life

Inside Out 2 Seeks to Open Up the Conversation About Anxiety

Inside Out 2

Release Date
June 14, 2024

Kelsey Mann

Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Diane Lane, Maya Hawke, Liza Lapira, Tony Hale

Meg LeFauve

In addition to the emotions we already know, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust, Inside Out 2 will introduce new characters into Riley’s mind, and they will be an essential part of the plot. These new emotions will be Ennui, Embarrassment, Envy, and Anxiety, voiced by Maya Hawke, which will be the most important of all. In fact, this new character is the one Mann is most excited about, and which she hopes will help start important conversations:

“I’m especially excited about Anxiety … There are a lot of different types of anxiety, but we’re really leaning into social anxiety, wanting to fit in and be part of a group. Wondering, ‘Am I good enough?’ Kids have a much deeper language of their emotions than I did as a kid … I think that’s fantastic. We need to be talking about it more. I’m hoping with this film we’re really able to open up the conversation.”

Inside Out 2 also stars Amy Poehler as Joy, Phyllis Smith as Sadness, Lewis Black as Anger, Tony Hale replacing Bill Hader as Fear, Liza Lapira replacing Mindy Kaling as Disgust, and Diane Lane as Mom. The movie hits theaters on June 14, 2024, and will be the only Pixar movie coming out next year after the delayed Elio. Check out the trailer for Inside Out 2 below:


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