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What Emotions Did Pixar Leave Out of INSIDE OUT 2?

Photo from Pixar’s Instagram

What Emotions Did Pixar Leave Out of INSIDE OUT 2?

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Anybody who has survived the teenage years knows the overwhelming plethora of emotions one goes through, but arguably, just as overwhelming is trying to portray all those emotions onscreen.   

This would explain why of the nine new emotions that were to reside in the main protagonist 13-year-old Riley’s mind in Pixar’s new movie, INSIDE OUT 2, three emotions — shame, guilt and suspicion — are absent. 

“I really wanted Joy to feel overwhelmed by all of these new emotions that showed up,” director Kelsey Mann said. “And 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. And my first note from the first screening was simplify.” 

Writer Meg LeFauve explained how shame and guilt are related but ultimately could be represented as two different avatars in the movie. 

“Shame being more self-loathing  that thing that attacks you. And we talked to a lot of experts about it. The difference with shame is really not a great thing for you because it is just about attacking you. Whereas guilt is about taking responsibility and it’s a behavior, not who you are,” LeFauve explained. 

LeFauve said that while adding the new emotions just “never quite clicked,” viewers can see those emotions intertwined with one of Riley’s new emotions: Anxiety. 

“But I do think we all have that self-loathing critic in our head, and we got to go there a little bit with the projections and how Anxiety can start to do that to you,” the writer continued. “So I think it’s in the movie, but that was one thing we explored that we didn’t ultimately feel was fruitful for this version.” 

Mann discussed with Comic Book about the possibility of an INSIDE OUT 3. 

“It’s such a great world to play in, and ideas just kind of come from playing in this world, both for locations and characters,” the director said. “There [are] so many ideas not only from the first film but especially in this one, where I’m like, ‘That’s a really fun, clever idea. I don’t know how it fits into this particular story, but it should be used at some point.'” 

One idea Mann revealed he wanted to use for the sequel to INSIDE OUT, a Movieguide® Award nominated movie, that didn’t make the cut was a park called Procrastination Land. 

“This is the land I definitely have, especially as a teen. It was a land which had a big sign that said ‘Procrastination Land’ and then it said ‘Coming Soon.’ And Anger was like, ‘When are they gonna start building that place?! It just keeps sitting there!’” he revealed. “They haven’t made any movement on it. It’s such a funny idea. We had trouble figuring out why in this particular story.”  

Pixar’s latest release is the first movie of 2024 to reach the $1 billion mark — $469.3 million in North America and $545.5 internationally, according to Variety. It is one of only 11 animated movies to reach this milestone. The family-friendly movie’s success prompted Michael O’Leary, CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, to congratulate Disney. 

“On behalf of movie theatre owners across the country and around the world, we want to congratulate Disney’s ‘Inside Out 2’ for grossing $1 billion faster than any animated movie in history,” Michael O’Leary said. “The film’s stunning global success once again illustrates that audiences the world over will respond to compelling, entertaining movies, and that they want to enjoy them on the big screen.”  

Movieguide® praised INSIDE OUT 2’s biblical themes. The review reads: 

INSIDE OUT 2 is a marvelous, family-friendly, allegorical Christian animated movie. It’s Pixar’s best movie since 2019’s TOY STORY 4. That same year, Disney, which owns Pixar, had seven of the Top 10 Movies in the United States and Canada, including the MOVIEGUIDE® Award winning TOY STORY 4.

The good news is that, unlike Disney and Pixar’s recent movies, INSIDE OUT 2 isn’t woke or politically correct at all. In fact, INSIDE OUT 2 is delightful, funny, inventive, and heartwarming. It also has many positive messages. For example, it promotes doing the right thing, keeping your emotions under control and not letting your anxieties overcome your decision making. Another nice message is the movie’s conclusion that it’s not good for people to focus only on their good memories or only on their bad memories, because both can provide valuable lessons. Finally, various scenes promote repentance, forgiveness, humility, friendship, and kindness. Also, don’t forget your old friends even when you’re making new friends. The story has wonderful visual and non-visual ways to illustrate these messages and themes.

That said, INSIDE OUT 2 helps us understand the Scripture that “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10c), and Joy has a great character arc from control to crying out for help (suggesting prayer) to helping Riley repent and seek forgiveness. Also, the movie’s messages about controlling our emotions and not letting one emotion overwhelm you has some biblical precedents. For instance, Jesus says don’t judge other people without first applying the same standard toward yourself. He also commands us to make “righteous” judgments. In addition, Jesus often tells his listeners to “fear not” and don’t be anxious but rely on Him and God’s provision. Also, Joy and self-control are two of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit described by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23.


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