Original co-writer/director Pete Docter teases how Inside Out 2 is expanding his emotional universe and the sequel’s “really poignant” story.

Shortly after its announcement, original director and Pixar CCO Pete Docter has teased how Inside Out 2 is expanding the emotional universe. The original movie revolved around the personified emotions of a young girl who is struggling to adjust to a major cross-country move, all while conflicting with one another. Scoring widespread critical acclaim and grossing over $850 million, Inside Out proved a new hit for Pixar, who eventually greenlit a sequel this past September.

Ahead of his upcoming honoring of the Winsor McKay Award as this year’s Annies, Pete Docter caught up with The Wrap to discuss his past and future with Pixar. When asked about Inside Out 2, the three-time Oscar winner expressed his excitement for the project, teasing that it will expand the emotional universe in a big way after the research for the original revealed “five to 27 emotions,” most of whom weren’t present in the original, but are now being introduced to be “a little bit more truthful and broadening [the scope].” See what else Docter sahred below:

[Kelsey Mann’s pitch] was really poignant and very heartfelt, very personal to him, but also universal in that same way we were talking about before, having to do with… well, again, I don’t want to pitch his movie, but it’s got a real great heart to it, a really great core that is central to some of these new emotions showing up. It’s all connected.

Related: Every New Emotion That Could Appear In Inside Out 2

Can Inside Out 2 Overcome Pixar’s Recent Franchise Slump?

Inside Out

The confirmation of Inside Out 2‘s development came as somewhat of a surprise following Pixar’s promise in 2019 that they would be moving away from producing sequels off the releases of both Toy Story 4 and Incredibles 2. The studio stayed true to their promise for a few years with the releases of Onward, Soul, Luca and Turning Red, the latter two of which saw division from Pixar employees for their streaming-exclusive releases amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Pixar would try to get back to theatrical releases with this year’s Lightyear, a slight breaking of their no-sequel promise as it expanded the Toy Story franchise with an origin story for the in-universe character behind Tim Allen’s beloved toy. Despite scoring generally positive reviews from critics, Lightyear proved a rare box office bomb for the studio, unable to rally from having released multiple films straight to Disney+ and the controversy surrounding Chris Evans taking over as Buzz from Tim Allen.

Fresh off of Lightyear‘s underperformance, Disney and Pixar look to be reverting to sequels for their animated ouput, having recently announced Toy Story 5, Frozen 3 and Zootopia 2, all months after Inside Out 2‘s reveal. Though Docter seems confident in the introduction of new emotions and another heartfelt story, it will be interesting to see if the studio looks to carry over the lessons leared from Lightyear‘s failure for the new film. Additionally, with both Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader not returning for Inside Out 2, the film already has a major hurdle to overcome in breaking Pixar’s recent franchise slump.

More: Inside Out 2’s Story Has A Clear Path To Avoid From Toy StorySource: The Wrap

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