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‘Inside Out 2’ adds four new emotions, explores teenage life

Self-acceptance key theme in new ‘Inside Out’ franchise: director

By Kim Da-sol

Published : May 2, 2024 - 15:36

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Director Kelsey Mann (Disney Pixar Animation Studio) Director Kelsey Mann (Disney Pixar Animation Studio)

JEONJU, North Jeolla Province -- “Inside Out 2,” the sequel to the 2015 hit animation on a charming, intelligent journey through the emotions of adolescence, adds four new feelings to mix: anxiety, envy, ennui and embarrassment.

Kelsey Mann, director of the film, and Mark Nielsen, a producer on “Inside Out 2,” joined a press conference following footage to introduce the new characters and messages of the upcoming movie. The event was held on the sidelines of the 25th Jeonju International Film Festival in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, Thursday.

“When we wanted to add new emotions, we had this whole list of all kinds of emotions, and I was really drawn to ‘anxiety,’ something I could relate to. It was also from the study that (anxiety level) was on the rise among teenagers. I also felt like anxiety took me over when I was a teenager,” Mann told reporters in a video call.

“Inside Out 2” centers on a teenaged Riley’s newly minted emotions and her “mind headquarters” undergoing a sudden demolition to make room for new emotions that emerge during puberty.

“Inside Out 2” (Walt Disney Co. Korea) “Inside Out 2” (Walt Disney Co. Korea)
Producer Mark Nielsen (Disney Pixar Animation Studio) Producer Mark Nielsen (Disney Pixar Animation Studio)

Nielsen said he wanted to stick truthfully to the teenagers’ emotions.

“We went to experts like professors at UC Berkeley and other psychologists to help us wrap up what kind of emotion appears among teens in that age. That really informed us to tell what emotions make sense for the story.”

While this imaginative, endearing animated film is targeted at young children, the movie was a huge hit with adults too when it opened in Korea in 2015. Especially in a country where many people still shun freely expressing emotions or feelings, the movie was akin to therapy.

In the sequel, the audience will be able to explore situations that apply not only to a teenage girl, but that are also relatable to adults, according to the director.

“The movie is (about emotions) that we are all dealing with, something everybody is going through. A lot of people already responded (in the first installment) to the character and (noticed that) they’re not the only ones dealing with it, but others are going through this,” Mann told reporters.

He added that the upcoming movie is about self-acceptance.

“People compare themselves and see nothing but flaws – I want the audience to, as they walk out from the movie, look in the mirror and love what they see there,” Mann said.

“We received so many positive feedbacks from parents, educators and psychologists that this movie could be used for educational purposes. What we want is to see this movie become helpful to the Korean audience like the first one, open up discussions on complex emotions and how to manage them,” Nielsen said.

“Inside Out 2” is scheduled to hit local theaters on June 12.