Pixar’s Pete Docter Unveils the Creative Process Behind Inside Out 2’s New Emotions


This weekend, Pixar’s much-anticipated “Inside Out 2” has finally hit theaters, taking viewers back into the mind of Riley, now a thirteen-year-old navigating the complexities of adolescence. With new emotions like Anxiety, Ennui, Embarrassment, and Envy joining the original cast of Joy and Sadness, the film delves deeper into the emotional landscape of its young protagonist. Pete Docter, Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and director of the original film, shared insights into the creative process behind these new characters and why the film needs to be experienced on the big screen.

Related: Top tips for Experiencing Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort


Pete Docter explained that the decision to create “Inside Out 2” stemmed from the lasting impact of the first film, which resonated deeply with audiences. Many viewers reported that the movie changed their perspectives on parenting and self-understanding. With this in mind, Docter and director Kelsey Mann introduced Anxiety as a central character, reflecting the increasing prevalence of this emotion among today’s youth. The challenge lay in visualizing these more abstract emotions. Unlike the easily identifiable emotions of the first film, emotions like Ennui and Embarrassment required a more nuanced approach to ensure they were relatable and understandable to the audience.


The process of balancing a director’s vision with Pixar’s collaborative environment was crucial in bringing these new emotions to life. Docter emphasized the importance of visual clarity, especially given the abstract nature of some of the new emotions. The team worked diligently to ensure that each emotion was easily recognizable and relatable. This visual storytelling is a hallmark of Pixar, which Docter described not just as an animation studio, but as a storytelling studio. The goal is to cloak deeply personal and human experiences in engaging and entertaining narratives, making complex emotional concepts accessible to audiences of all ages.

Related: Limited Time Offerings at Disney World to Celebrate the Release of Inside Out 2


Docter stressed that “Inside Out 2” should be experienced in theaters to fully appreciate its spectacle and emotional depth. The immersive experience of a theater enhances the film’s impact, allowing viewers to connect more deeply with the story and its characters. He hopes that younger audiences will find both entertainment and new ways to understand and visualize their own emotions. With its blend of humor, relatable scenarios, and insightful exploration of the human psyche, “Inside Out 2” promises to be a worthy successor to the original, offering audiences a richer understanding of the emotional world within us all.

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Chris is a Pennsylvania native who escaped the cold and relocated to the Orlando area. Our resident Universal expert, Chris has been visiting the Universal Orlando Resort since the 1990s. Chris is a Universal and Walt Disney World Passholder, and can often be found exploring the parks taking in the sites (and finding new things to write about!).
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