Categories: Interviews

Interview: ‘Inside Out 2’ Director Kelsey Mann and Producer Mark Nielsen on Revisiting Riley, Joy and Company [VIDEO]

Published by

At a recent Disney Pixar press day, I had the opportunity to speak with director Kelsey Mann and producer Mark Nielsen about the highly anticipated sequel, Inside Out 2. Both shared insights into why they decided to revisit one of Pixar’s most beloved films.

Kelsey Mann, known for his work on The Good Dinosaur and Monsters University, explained that the idea for Inside Out 2 came from Pete Docter, Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer and the original film’s director. “It’s hard enough to get that one,” Mann noted, referring to the original film’s complexity. Despite initial hesitations about a sequel, Mann highlighted the film’s enduring impact. “There’s something about Inside Out that it kept being talked about and brought up.”

The overwhelming positive feedback from audiences played a significant role in the decision to create a sequel. “People would come up to Pete and tell him how helpful the film was for them,” Mann shared. This emotional connection motivated Docter to greenlight the sequel. “That’s when Pete came to me and said there may be potential to go back and tell another story, and I think you would be a good one to find out if there is anything we can do.”

Mann emphasized that his feature debut, Inside Out 2 explores the self-conscious emotions prevalent during adolescence. “This is very much a focus on the self-conscious emotions that come up during adolescence where you can really kind of start to be hard on yourself and be more self-conscious about what others are thinking about you,” Neilson explained.

Mark Nielsen, a veteran at Pixar, co-producer on Toy Story 4, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, also served as an associate producer for the critically acclaimed film Coco. His extensive experience and understanding of complex narratives are evident in bringing Inside Out 2 to life.

A significant addition to the film is the character of Anxiety. Mann and Nielsen dedicated substantial time to understanding teenage emotions. “Mark and I definitely spent a lot of time with teenagers, listening to them, but I also remember feeling a lot of anxiety at that age,” Mann said. The rise of social media has only intensified these feelings for today’s youth. “They are feeling it even more now.”

To develop Anxiety, Mann shared that they carefully considered audience feedback. “We made a list by listening to the audience and kept going back to anxiety, thinking, ‘I think there’s something here.’” This feedback, combined with personal experiences, helped shape the character and the film’s narrative.

Watch Inside Out 2 when it releases only in theaters on June 14.

Landon Johnson

Landon Johnson is a writer and a film and marketing guru. Through his six-year career in media marketing and development, he has worked in New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong for a variety of entertainment companies. He can quote every line from Wes Craven's "Scream," and is a voting member of the Screen Actors Guild who has served on numerous awards nominating committees for both film and TV. When he's not binge-watching independent films, he has a real passion for promoting untold stories portrayed on film that have a lasting impact on audiences.

Recent Posts

‘Shōgun,’ ‘Hacks’ Top 2024 TCA Awards Winners

FX's Shōgun was the big winner at the 2024 Television Critics Association (TCA) awards tonight,… Read More

July 12, 2024

FINAL 2024 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Expect a Big Day for ‘The Bear,’ ‘Shōgun,’ ‘Baby Reindeer’

With Emmy nominations right around the corner – Wednesday, July 17 to be exact –… Read More

July 12, 2024

Sony Pictures Classics Picks Up ‘The Outrun’ with Saoirse Ronan for Fall 2024 Release

Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they will release Nora Fingscheidt's The Outrun, the drama… Read More

July 12, 2024

Director Watch Podcast Ep. 54 – ‘Spy Game’ (Tony Scott, 2001) with Guests Kelsi and Trey of The Extra Credits Podcast

Welcome to Director Watch! On this AwardsWatch podcast, co-hosts Ryan McQuade and Jay Ledbetter attempt… Read More

July 11, 2024

AwardsWatch Podcast Ep. 240 – Final 2024 Emmy Nomination Predictions

On episode 240 of The AwardsWatch Podcast, Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson is joined by AwardsWatch TV… Read More

July 11, 2024

Inaugural San Quentin Film Festival to Feature Jeffrey Wright, Mary Louise Parker, ‘Sing Sing’ Director Greg Kwedar and More as Jurors

The inaugural San Quentin Film Festival (SQFF), which will celebrate the work of current and… Read More

July 10, 2024

This website uses cookies.