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A Wave of Emotions in ‘Inside Out 2’: Joy, Sadness, and…Anxiety?

It’s incredible to think that Pixar’s 15th animated feature, Inside Out, hit screens almost nine years ago on June 19, 2015! The original movie followed Riley Anderson, a cheerful 11-year-old girl who adored hockey but faced a major life twist when her family relocated to San Francisco. This upheaval sent Riley’s emotions into a frenzy, with  Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) steering the narrative. Particularly central to the narrative were Joy and Sadness as they navigated Riley’s journey of transformation. Fast forward nine years, and we reconnect with these familiar emotions in Riley’s mind alongside some new ones. Get ready to delve into what awaits in the upcoming Disney Pixar sequel, Inside Out 2, premiering in theaters on June 14, 2024.

Love all things Pixar? Check out our recent interview with Pixar Animator Gwen Enderoglu of Disney Pixar’s Elemental!

Inside Out recap — Where the story left off

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In the previous film’s conclusion, Riley joyfully celebrates her 12th birthday, surrounded by friends and family in the vibrant city of San Francisco. As she blows out the candles on her birthday cake, there is a sense of contentment and excitement for the new chapter ahead. Her journey of adapting to this new life in a bustling city is beautifully portrayed, highlighting the importance of resilience and embracing change.

This transformation is intricately woven into the narrative, showcasing how the emotions — Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust — learn to work together harmoniously, fostering a sense of teamwork and mutual respect. These qualities are not just pivotal for Riley’s well-being but also serve as a poignant reminder of the complexities of growing up.

The film’s conclusion introduces viewers to fresh dynamics within the inner workings of Riley’s mind, delving deeper into the emotions’ interactions as they navigate an expanded console of memories and experiences. Each emotion contributes uniquely to Riley’s decisions and actions, culminating in a humorous yet enlightening encounter with the seemingly inconsequential “PUBERTY” button, hinting at the challenges and adventures that lie ahead.

These meticulously crafted elements not only enrich the storyline but also set the stage for the highly anticipated sequel, Inside Out 2, leaving audiences eagerly awaiting the next chapter of Riley’s emotional journey.

Inside Out 2 trailer, synopsis, & cast

Inside Out 2 returns to the mind of newly minted teenager Riley just as headquarters is undergoing a sudden demolition to make room for something entirely unexpected: new Emotions! Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust, who’ve long been running a successful operation by all accounts, aren’t sure how to feel when Anxiety shows up — along with three other new emotions: Envy, Ennui, and Embarrassment.

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(L–R) New emotions Embarrassment, Anxiety, Envy, & Ennui in Disney Pixar’s Inside Out 2 // ©Disney

The sequel features most of the original film’s cast reprising their roles, such as Amy Poehler as Joy, Phyllis Smith as Sadness, and Lewis Black as Anger. However, Fear and Disgust were recast with Tony Hale and Liza Lapira filling in. This change reportedly stemmed from pay disputes, according to Vulture, with Hader and Kaling being offered $100K compared to Poehler’s $5M for the lead role. Joining the group of Riley’s emotions for the sequel are new talents including Maya Hawke as Anxiety, Ayo Edebiri as Envy, Adèle Exarchopoulos as Ennui (boredom), and Paul Walter Hauser as Embarrassment.

Be sure to catch Inside Out 2 which promises to be an “emotional roller coaster” when it hits theaters on June 14, 2024!

Ben Ahrens_Author Headshot 2Ben Ahrens is a versatile Silicon Valley-based writer, content marketer, photographer, and graphic designer. His passion lies in crafting engaging stories for the entertainment industry and embracing the tech culture of the Bay Area to uncover the next ground-breaking innovations. When not weaving words, you’ll find him curating the perfect playlist for every occasion or exploring the diverse landscapes of Northern California.

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