Joy standing next to Anxiety in Inside Out 2
(Disney/Pixar)

Meet Your New Emotions! ‘Inside Out 2’ Brings Us a Host of New Feelings

Inside Out had us all sobbing when it first hit theatres in 2015, and if you say it didn’t affect you on some deeply personal level you are either lying or dead inside. Now Pixar is returning with Inside Out 2, and we have some new emotions to contend with. (As if the first five weren’t enough.)

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Inside Out took us on a journey inside the mind of a young girl named Riley as she navigates a difficult move and new emotional challenges. Inside Riley’s mind, sitting at the control panel, are her emotions. The leader is Joy, who takes the reigns, while the others—Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust—also contribute. We saw Joy and Sadness try to take control of the situation Riley was in, with Joy determined to try and make Riley as happy as possible, only to learn that sadness is just as valid and necessary an emotion for Riley to feel.

At the end of the first film, we were teased with what could come next, with a new control panel being installed in Riley’s mind that allows for greater complexity of thought and responses. It also came with one big button: puberty. That is the next great challenge Riley and her emotions will have to face, as she goes up against the horrifying realities of, wait for it, being a teenager!

Our core five emotions are no longer alone though, new emotions are brought in to help, or rather hinder, as Joy finds herself once again losing control. So who exactly are these new emotions? Let’s take a look.

Anxiety

Anxiety holding suitcases in Inside Out 2
(Disney/Pixar)

Voiced by Maya Hawke, our new lead emotion is Anxiety. Having been through the gauntlet of my own teen years, I have to say, this is extremely relatable. In fact, I don’t think anxiety ever stopped holding onto the reigns in my case. In the trailer it seems like Anxiety is going to take the lead in Riley’s head, literally bottling up our original five so they can’t get in the way of her plans. Look, sometimes a little anxiety can be healthy, push us to do things and make deadlines, but anxiety in control … not a good idea.

Envy

Inside Out 2, Envy tries to reach the controls
(Disney/Pixar)

Voiced by Ayo Edebiri we have the new emotion of Envy. The design for this new emotion was interesting, making her a small, wide-eyed type character, almost babylike in appearance. In an interview with Animation Magazine, director Kelsey Mann discussed the character’s design saying:

“We got really excited about the idea that Envy would be the smallest, because she’s so envious that others can reach the console to control Riley and she can’t reach it. Envy is the feeling that you wish you had what others have, including the ability to reach this console. That gave us seeds of things that we could do visually.”

Envy is certainly something we all feel as human beings, wanting something or wanting to be able to do something that others around us can but we cannot. While some may choose to take this feeling and improve themselves or learn their own strengths, others may allow the feeling to overwhelm them making them self-loathing or loathe others. We hope Riley learns to deal with her envy in a healthy way!

Embarrassment

Inside Out 2, Joy tries to shake Embarrassment's hand
(Disney/Pixar)

Voiced by Paul Walter, the team decided to do the opposite with Embarrassment’s character design, making him much too big compared to the other emotions. The idea behind this was that when you are embarrassed you want to hide, make yourself as small as possible and disappear, but when you are bigger than everyone else, that becomes a lot harder. Embarrassment is a huge emotion we feel as we learn to become more aware of ourselves and others, and start to wonder what others may be thinking about us. This can often go into overdrive when we hit puberty, making it a great emotion to introduce at this point in Riley’s life.

Ennui

Inside Out 2, Ennui lounging on the couch on phone
(Disney/Pixar)

Given the etymology for the word “ennui,” it made sense that they cast French actor Adèle Exarchopoulos to voice the character. Ennui is a feeling of listlessness, a lack of excitement or motivation that can make you feel like doing nothing because nothing matters anyway. The feeling of ennui can lead you to feel extra tired and in the trailer, we see that the emotion Ennui spends a lot of time lying on the couch playing on their phone.

Nostalgia

Inside Out 2, Nostalgia
(Disney/Pixar)

Despite popping up in one of the trailers, we aren’t sure how often we are going to see Nostalgia, or whether her appearance is a one-time joke. Voiced by June Squibb, Nostalgia takes on the form and voice of an elderly woman, looking back at events that only happened 30 seconds ago. It’s true that when you hit a certain age in your life, even as early as your teens, you start looking back at the way things used to be, back when you were just a kid and the world was simple. Ahh, the past.

Of course, our original five emotions will still be there, though we are swapping out Bill Hader for Tony Hale to voice Fear and Disgust will now be voiced by Liza Lapira, taking over from Mindy Kaling.


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Author
Laura Pollacco
Laura Pollacco (she/her) is a contributing writer here at The Mary Sue, having written for digital media since 2022 and has a keen interest in all things Marvel, Lord of the Rings, and anime. She has worked for various publications including We Got This Covered, but much of her work can be found gracing the pages of print and online publications in Japan, where she resides. Outside of writing she treads the boards as an actor, is a portrait and documentary photographer, and takes the little free time left to explore Japan.