Inside Out 2 seems like a sequel you would have expected to see at this point. Are there plans to continue the story of the many emotions inside a young girl’s head? If so, what do those plans entail?
Here is everything we know about Inside Out 2.
Making Inside Out 2 and Other Sequels
Pixar isn’t averse to sequels, since the animation studio has already made plenty. Toy Story, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc., Cars, and Finding Nemo have all found success with their sequels. With Riley still growing up and the film setting up Riley’s newfound interest in boys, there’s plenty of opportunities for an Inside Out 2. The series could even go beyond Riley, since Inside Out showed these emotions exist in all people, Inside Out 2 could introduce the audience to another child or even an adult. We even see these in animals, and since Disney loves movies about animals, they could even go that route with the five emotions. Since everyone has emotions, there are plenty of opportunities for a sequel.
Back in 2016, Pixar President Jim Morris told Entertainment Weekly that “Everything after Toy Story  and The Incredibles  is an original right now,” and it has been. Morris further explained, “Most studios jump on doing a sequel as soon as they have a successful film, but our business model is a filmmaker model, and we don’t make a sequel unless the director of the original film has an idea that they like and are willing to go forward on,” Morris said. “A sequel in some regards is even harder [than the original] because you’ve got this defined world which, on the one hand, is a leg up, and on the other hand has expectations that you can’t disappoint on.” With a world as beloved as Inside Out 2, it would certainly be hard to live up to expectations.
So far, Morris and Pixar have held true to their word. The studio recently released Toy Story 4 in 2019 and then saw Onward earlier this year in March 2020 with Soul set to hit Disney+ on December 25, 2020. After that, the only upcoming film Pixar has announced so far is Luca, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters in June of 2021. No Inside Out 2 announced yet, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be in some early stages, despite what Morris said.
What makes the thought of Inside Out 2 a bit more daunting is the fact that Pete Docter has been extremely busy writing, directing, and producing Soul, and not only that, he is also working on Monsters at Work, an animated series based on the Monsters, Inc. gang. Even beyond his own projects, in 2018, Docter became Pixar’s new chief creative officer, which is also – one would imagine – a pretty demanding job. It seems as though the only way another Inside Out would come to fruition would be if Docter is all in on it.
The Emotional Whirlwind
Inside Out is still prominent within Disney, which bodes well for a potential Inside Out 2. In 2018, Disney’s California Adventure updated their section formerly known as Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier. In this retheme, Disney introduced several Pixar properties into the park for new rides.
California Adventure debuted a new ride based on Inside Out in 2019 called The Emotional Whirlwind. The attraction takes riders in circles aboard one of Riley’s emotions. Think Dumbo, but with feelings instead of elephants. Now, if only Disney and Pixar could give us an Inside Out 2 as well.
Never Say Never to Inside Out 2
Emotional Whirlwind aside, Pixar hasn’t entirely ruled out a return to Riley and her emotions, they’re just currently focused on original projects for the time being. But remember, there was a 12-year gap between Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University. There was a 13-year gap between Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. There was a 14-year gap between The Incredibles and The Incredibles 2. Let’s hope it won’t be 15 years between Inside Out and Inside Out 2.
The Original Inside Out
When Pixar’s Inside Out premiered in June of 2015, it brought in over $91 million its first weekend. Inside Out set the record for the largest opening for an original property (non-sequel, non-adaptation), surpassing the previous record of $77 million, set by James Cameron’s 2009 Avatar. This record was also a pleasant surprise for Disney and Pixar as it was estimated to “only” bring in around $60 million for its opening weekend. Inside Out would eventually make $858 million worldwide, a box office total that begs for an Inside Out 2.
Critics and fans both loved Inside Out – another reason why it’s surprising we haven’t had an Inside Out 2 yet. Inside Out told a story that resonated with audiences using gorgeous, state-of-the-art animation. The record-breaking Inside Out told the story of Riley, a happy, hockey-playing 11-year-old who lives in the Midwest with her parents. But a new job for her father sees Riley and family make the move across the country to San Francisco, a city completely unlike what Riley is used to. Her new experiences only get worse on her first day of school, when Riley ends up crying in front of her class, creating a sad core memory.
Inside Out also takes us literally inside Riley’s head, as we’re introduced to Riley’s five emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger (although it would be interesting to see if Inside Out 2 would introduce even more emotions into the mix). Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) tries to remove the sad memory, but only causes issues by knocking all of Riley’s core memories loose during a struggle with Sadness (voiced by The Office‘s Phyllis Smith). Joy and Sadness embark on a journey through Riley’s mind to retrieve these emotions. With Riley’s other emotions, Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Anger (Lewis Black) now in charge of Riley, things go from bad to worse.
It’s a wonderfully told story, putting a spotlight on lonely children who try to deal with the major changes in their lives. But does it beg for an Inside Out 2? Its fans sure think so, but Pixar and, more importantly director Pete Docter, is not so sure. We will have to see if they ever decide to return to this fascinating world, or if we only got one adventure into Riley’s head.