Inside Out 2’s Belief System Is ‘The Emotional Hit The Last Movie Could Not Give’ – Exclusive Image

Inside Out 2

by Ben Travis |
Updated on

The majority of Pixar films are not to be watched without tissues. From the furnace farewell in Toy Story 3, to the ‘Married Life’ sequence in Up, to the ‘Remember Me’ scene in Coco, the studio tends to have one hand placed firmly on your tear-ducts. And that’s not to mention Inside Out, perhaps the most emotionally effective of any Pixar film (and not just because it’s… well, about actual emotions). The ‘death’ of Bing Bong, the first foray through young Riley’s mind, the reconciliation of Joy and Sadness… it’s a non-stop heart-squeezer. And that’s a tough act to follow for this year’s Inside Out 2, following Riley through puberty as a raft of new emotions – chiefly Anxiety, plus Envy, Embarrassment and Ennui – come into play.

According to incoming writer Dave Holstein, the newly-developed ‘Belief System’ in Riley’s mind isn’t just a cool environment for the sequel to explore – it’s going to be “the emotional hit that this movie could give, that the last movie could not.” Grab your tissues. The existential expanse – as seen in the exclusive image above – is the home to all the things Riley fundamentally believes to be true, explains director Kelsey Mann. “Now that Riley’s a teenager, she’s starting to develop her own set of beliefs,” he tells Empire. “What if we actually hear Riley say her beliefs in her own voice? If you hear her say, ‘I’m kind,’ you can hear [in] the performance how she feels about that. Or, ‘My parents are proud of me.’ On the flip-side, if there’s a belief that’s not so good, you can really hear the emotion of it.”

For Holstein – who first encountered the Belief System as an idea that had worked its way out of the film, and was the person to work it back into the narrative – it was an instant winner. “It was beautiful,” he says. “It was just gorgeous. And it made me feel something.” It soon became a core element of Inside Out 2. “Immediately, I was like, ‘There’s something I want to see at the beginning of this movie, and possibly the end of this movie, that tells me what the movie is’,” he recalls. “So it was very inspirational for me.”

The result is set to bring real emotional power in the follow-up to Pete Docter’s landmark original. And Docter himself is “cautiously optimistic” about how well the sequel is faring in its final stages of production. “It’s like Joy and Fear wrestling each other for [the] controls,” he confesses. “Things are just starting to really sparkle. I don’t want to proclaim victory. There’s always the sense of, ‘Am I deluded? Am I the only one who will like this?’ I have no idea.” All you have to do is believe.

Empire Summer 2024 cover – Deadpool & Wolverine

Read Empire’s full Inside Out 2 – speaking to director Kelsey Mann, Pixar boss Pete Docter, writers Dave Holstein and Meg LeFauve, and star Amy Poehler – in the Deadpool & Wolverine issue, on sale Thursday 9 May. Order a copy online here. Inside Out 2 comes to UK cinemas on 14 June.

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