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Inside Out 2: Will We Ever Get To See The Sequel?

When it debuted in 2015, Inside Out was hailed as one of the most wildly original animated films of all time — even by the lofty standards of its studio, Pixar. It tells the story of Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), a tween girl whose parents uproot her from her childhood home, an adventure equal parts exciting, terrifying, and depressing. The film's ingenious conceit: its story is largely told through the personifications of Riley's emotions, which man the Headquarters of her brain. They are the near-irrepressible Joy (Amy Poehler), the gloomy Sadness (Phyllis Smith), the volcanic Anger (Lewis Black), the timid Fear (Bill Hader), and the hilariously outspoken Disgust (Mindy Kaling). 

The film also cleverly sketched out the inner workings of Riley's mind through a series of brilliantly realized environments, including the "islands" of Riley's personality (such as Friendship Island, Family Island, and Hockey Island), the vast hallways of Riley's long-term memory storage unit, and the "Memory Dump," where memories that have outlived their usefulness are sent to crumble into nothingness. When Joy and Sadness are accidentally ejected from Headquarters, they try to find their way back, with the help of Riley's childhood imaginary friend, Bing-Bong (Richard Kind), before Riley takes the drastic step of running away from home.

As the film ends, Riley, back safe with her family, comes to understand that joy and sadness are two sides of the same coin. She is entering her teen years, leading to the formation of some interesting new islands (like Boy Band Island and Tragic Vampire Romance Island), the kind of Pixar-y touch that both put a nice bow on what we had just watched, while also suggesting the possibility of further adventures to come. Could we get to see how Riley navigates the transition from kid to teenager in Inside Out 2?

Pixar is focusing on new original films for now

Pixar is famously selective when it comes to the properties it singles out for the sequel treatment. If it's not Toy Story or Cars — both of which are merchandising champions — Pixar sequels largely seem to be a question of getting the right stars to align, in terms of cast availability, and having the right story to justify a continuation. The only Pixar flicks outside of the aforementioned franchises to get sequels — Finding Nemo, The Incrediblesand Monsters Inc. — didn't have those follow-ups hit screens for 13 years, 14 years, and 12 years, respectively. This would suggest that any kind of Inside Out sequel wouldn't happen for a pretty long time, which squares with statements made by Pixar chief Jim Morris.

Back in 2016, Morris told Entertainment Weekly that "Everything after Toy Story [4] and The Incredibles [2] is an original right now" — and that has borne out, with Coco and Onward having since been released. He also stated that Pixar will never make a sequel "unless the director of the original film has an idea that they like and are willing to go forward on," and it's safe to say that director Pete Docter has had his hands full: He's worked in some capacity on every single Pixar film since 2007's Ratatouille, and he wrote and directed Soul, the first time he's filled those roles since Inside Out.

All of which is to say that if the stars do align for a sequel to Inside Out, it's not likely to happen for quite some time. We're sorry to put Sadness at the controls of your Headquarters' master console, but if you want to put Joy back in charge, all you've got to do is watch the original flick one more time.