Inside Out 2 Director Confirms What We All Suspected About Sequel's Puberty Plot

By Gillian Blum Posted:
Inside Out 2 Emotions and Riley

Inside Out 2 will continue a story introduced in the original movie when it comes out in 2024, according to the sequel's director.

Hitting theaters on June 14, the sequel to 2015's Inside Out will see four new emotions introduced into main character Riley's brain — Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Ennui, Embarrassment, and Envy.

Most of the original movie's cast will return for the continuation of this story, with Mindy Kaling's Disgust and Bill Hader's Fear being re-cast.

What Will Inside Out 2 Be About?

Joy and Disgust in Inside Out

In the January 2024 issue of Empire Magazine, Inside Out 2 director Kelsey Mann explained that the effects of pressing the button labeled "Puberty" from the first movie's ending will be explored in the sequel.

Inside Out 2 will pick up from where the first movie left off, with the emotions "all in sync with one another," before "puberty hits:"

"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."

Anxiety in Inside Out 2

Empire Magazine explained that with the start of puberty in the movie comes the new emotions being introduced — Anxiety, Ennui, Embarrassment, and Envy — with the first of the list being one Mann is "especially excited about:"

"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?'"

Characters in construction hard hats from Inside Out 2.

Mann told Empire this movie is a chance to "open up the conversation" about the "much deeper language of ... emotions" that today's children have when compared to past generations:

"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."

The director originally planned "to pitch three ideas," but changed course after a watchthrough of the 2015 original with Pete Doctor — the first movie's director, and current chief creative officer at Pixar. In the end, he "just pitched" one idea, regarding the introduction of the puberty button:

"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."

Continuing the Pixar tradition of tugging on viewers' heartstrings while also making them laugh, Mann said he hopes to "say something meaningful about ourselves as humans, but told in an imaginative way." He noted in particular the movie's "heart," its "emotion," and its "humor:"

"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."

Growing Up, Inside and Outside of Inside Out 2

The Puberty Button from Inside Out

Based on Mann's discussion with Empire Magazine, fans know at least one unsurprising fact — Inside Out 2 will tug on the audience's heartstrings.

When the Disney-Pixar movie releases in 2024, it will be almost a decade since the first Inside Out hit theaters back in 2015. Everyone who saw the movie for the first time back then will be seeing the sequel almost a decade later.

An 11-year-old in 2015 will be roughly 20 for the sequel. Despite being Riley's age when the original movie was released, that viewer will have already gone through puberty before seeing Inside Out 2, and now can watch a character they began that journey with go through it herself.

That 2015 11-year-old's parents will have already watched their child go through puberty, and will be able to see that experience reflected in another child.

And, someone who is Riley's age when the sequel hits will be able to have the experience that pre-teens in 2015 had with the first movie, seeing their experiences reflected.

Inside Out 2 hits theaters on June 14, 2024.

- In This Article: Inside Out 2
Release Date
June 14, 2024
Amy Poehler
Phyllis Smith
- About The Author: Gillian Blum

Gillian Blum has been a writer at The Direct since 2022, reporting primarily from New York City. Though she covers news from across the entertainment industry, Gillian has a particular focus on Marvel and DC, including comics, movies, and television shows. She also commonly reports on Percy Jackson, Invincible, and other similar franchises.