Pixar’s latest smash hit, Inside Out, has been seen by many as the studio’s long-awaited return to form after years of dipping into the sequel pool. Thanks to a creatively unique concept and genuine emotion, the film was able to break box office records and score near universal critical acclaim (read our review), showing that when it comes to original storytelling, it’s hard to beat Pixar at the top of their game.
Of course, given the film’s box office total ($113.9 million and counting), some are going to start wondering if we’ll ever seen an Inside Out 2 one day. It’s not that crazy to consider either, since Pixar has several follow-ups (like Finding Dory and Toy Story 4) coming through the pipeline. But for those who prefer the animation powerhouse stick to coming up with fresh narratives, you should be pleased that there are currently no plans for another adventure inside Riley’s mind.
While speaking with EW, Inside Out director Pete Docter addressed the sequel question, saying that he’d rather add to the studio’s stable of original films (like his previous directorial efforts Monsters, Inc. and Up) instead of finding a new story to tell with Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger:
“There’s no sequel idea from me at this point.”
“At this point” is the key phrase, especially considering that Docter ended his quote with a teasing “never say never.” You may recall that Pixar ardently said that Toy Story 3 would be the final film of their flagship franchise before surprising everyone last year with the big announcement that a fourth film is on its way. So, things certainly can change over time, particularly in a business like Hollywood. Pixar specifically seems to specialize in the “delayed sequel,” as a number of their new installments are coming several years (or decades) after their predecessors.
That said, those wishing for Inside Out 2 shouldn’t be holding their breath waiting for it to come through anytime soon. The film was conceived as a passion project by Docter, who used his own personal experiences dealing with his daughter growing up as his main source of inspiration. Now that he’s told this story and shared it with the world, he’s ready to move on to the next interesting idea that’s brewing in his head. And since Docter is arguably the best director the studio has (apologies to Brad Bird), it’s safe to say a great number of people will be waiting to see it.
That’s not to say that Inside Out 2 wouldn’t be a worthwhile idea to explore down the road. Compared to some of Pixar’s other films (Cars 3), Inside Out seems ready-made for follow-ups. Much like how the Toy Story trilogy detailed various points of childhood, you could easily craft captivating stories that revolve around specific points in an individual’s life and how their emotions operate as you get older. At the same time, one could make the case that a sequel would merely be a retread, since each evolution through life would essentially deal (with some tweaks here and there) with the same themes and poignant messages about emotional maturity that Inside Out showcased to great effect.
But that’s a discussion for another time and another place. Where we stand now, any talk about Inside Out 2 is a moot point. Docter may very well turn around many years down the road with a great idea for a follow-up (much like his colleague Bird and The Incredibles 2), but for now we’ll just have to settle for another original Pixar Studios idea. And as we’ve seen time and time again, that will lead to many memories filled with Joy.
Inside Out is now playing in theaters.