‘Inside Out 2’ Star Reveals Why Film is Extremely “Personal”

Amy Poehler Inside Out 2 Very Personal
Credit: Disney/Pixar

In 2015, Disney and Pixar released a new film — Inside Out — that took us inside the mind of a young girl named Riley. Riley, who is just eleven years old, had her entire life upended when her parents moved from Minnesota to California. She has to deal with going to a new school, meeting new people, trying to make new friends, and fitting in in her new environment.

But Inside Out doesn’t focus on Riley. Instead, it focuses on the emotions in her head — Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger.

Inside Out

Credit: Disney/Pixar

It’s been nearly ten years since audiences were introduced to Riley and her emotions, but this summer, the highly anticipated sequel — Inside Out 2 — will be released!

Inside Out 2 will feature the emotions in the first film and introduce some new emotions as well! In addition to Fear, Disgust, Anger, Joy, and Sadness, Inside Out 2 will introduce Anxiety, Embarrassment, Envy, and Ennui. There is even rumored to be another emotion — Nostalgia! But we do not know if the last emotion will belong to Riley or her mother.

Inside Out 2

Credit: Disney/Pixar

Related: Alert, Alert! We Have a NEW Inside Out 2 Trailer!

Saturday Night Live alum and Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler provided the voice of Joy in the first film, as well as the sequel. In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Poehler spoke about how important these new emotions are, and how the journey of the second film was a personal one for her.

“The stuff they did in this next film is so good. The movie’s growing with all of us… I love the research and the depth that they did where anxiety is a motivator. So at first, Joy is like, ‘I like you! Anxiety’s fun!’”

“I would say I probably am more tired than Joy is. [But] I still love how intrepid Joy is and how she is the engine that tries to keep everything moving. That’s really fun to play.”

Inside Out 2 trailer

Credit: Disney/Pixar

Poehler is also the mother to two teenage boys, so she was able to relate to not only Riley, but also Riley’s mother, who is struggling over how to deal with her newly teenage daughter. Per PEOPLE:

She [Poehler] feels a kinship with Joy, who “is kind of like Riley’s parent in this. And she wants the best for her always, which is what I think any parent can relate to. But in the film she has to let go and realize that her kid is growing up.”

What’s both “so beautiful” and “so hard” about growing up, she continues, is that life “doesn’t stand still. It keeps changing. New things happen. And so when these new emotions show up… It’s all about the pain of separating. We all know the difference between [age] 12 and 13! It’s a big difference.”

Joy Inside Out

Credit: Disney/Pixar

Related: Major Character NOT Returning For Inside Out 2

Inside Out 2 will star Poehler as Joy, Phyllis Smith as Joy, Lewis Black as Anger, Tony Hale as Fear, and Liza Lapira as Disgust. Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader voiced Disgust and Fear in the first film but, due to failed contract negotiations, did not return for the sequel.

For the new characters, Anxiety will be voiced by Stranger Things star, Maya HawkeThe Bear star Ayo Edebiri will voice Envy, Adèle Exarchopoulos will voice Ennui, Paul Walter Hauser will voice Embarrassment, and Nostalgia will be voiced by iconic actress, June Squibb. Diane Lane will return as Riley’s mom, and Riley will be voiced by Kensington Tallman.

Inside Out 2

Credit: Disney/Pixar

Inside Out 2 was written by Dave Holstein and Meg LeFauve and was directed by Kelsey Mann.

The movie will premiere in theaters nationwide on June 14!

Do you think Inside Out 2 will resonate with a wider audience? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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