Over the past few years, fans have complained that Pixar has become increasingly depended on sequels. That changed this year with two brand new, original films, one of which—Inside Out—was a runaway critical and financial hit. So, of course, now the sequel talks have begun.
The film’s co-writer and director, Pete Docter, was talking to Entertainment Weekly about the film’s multiple Oscar nominations and then dropped a few interesting thoughts on the potential of a sequel:
We’ll see if anything turns up. To me, it’s not as simple as ‘We liked it, so let’s make another one.’ What happens is you design these characters not so much looks wise but as they are as character and people for a story. So we’ll explore it and see what happens.
Which is basically what Brad Bird and Andrew Stanton were saying for years about The Incredibles and Finding Nemo respectively. A sequel would come, if there was an idea good enough. Eventually, there was.
What’s unique about Inside Out is if Docter and the Pixar team wanted to do a sequel, there really are no boundaries. The characters of The Incredibles, Finding Nemo or Monsters Inc., exist in a particular world, on a specific trajectory. They’re mortal. But the emotions of Inside Out are everyone’s emotions. They could continue on the first film’s narrative and carry on with the development of Riley, or the next film could go into anyone else’s brain. The character designs are all the same, as are the base personalities. Plus, they don’t age, so the possibilities are endless.
Still, those limitless possibilities could actually hurt the chances for a follow-up. Docter has been quoted as saying using the human mind as a set was almost too big of a canvas to play on. Which is probably why he will only cop to “exploring” sequel ideas, nothing more.
It’s also worth nothing that Pixar’s announced slate is mostly sequels: Finding Dory, Cars 3, The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4. Only Coco, a film about the Day of the Dead, is an original concept. I’d expect a few more original ideas to come along before Inside Out 2—if only so that there’s more new material to make sequels to.
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