Riley's emotions meeting Anxiety at the emotion panel in Inside Out 2 | Agents of Fandom

This Underrated Disney Movie Heavily Influenced ‘Inside Out 2’

“It’s such a common influence among early childhood sports movies that we all kind of remembered.”

After almost 10 years since the incredible success of Inside Out, Disney-Pixar return to theaters with Inside Out 2, a sequel dedicated to further understanding our emotions as we grow older. Besides emotions being the main element in the storytelling of the Inside Out films, it’s filled with a beloved sport that will ultimately deepen the connection the films have with audiences.

In an interview with Agents of Fandom, Pixar Animation Studios’ Rebecca McVeigh discussed how The Mighty Ducks and her personal experiences played important parts in the storyboard research for Inside Out 2.

Rebecca McVeigh Credits ‘The Mighty Ducks’ for the Hockey Sequences in ‘Inside Out 2’

The Mighty Ducks hockey team wearing hockey jerseys with Ducks written across them. Elden Henson wears face paint under his eyes while his coach, Emilio Estevez, stands next to him. Marguerite Moreau stands to the right of them with a smile on her face | Agents of Fandom
Hockey plays a significant role in the narrative in The Mighty Ducks and Inside Out 2. Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios.

“We did talk about ‘The Mighty Ducks’. It’s such a common influence among early childhood sports movies that we all kind of remembered.”

—Rebecca McVeigh on The Mighty Ducks influence on Inside Out 2

In Inside Out 2, one of the main settings is a hockey rink, as hockey is part of protagonist Riley’s identity. Inside Out 2 mirrorsThe Mighty Ducks through middle school-aged kids playing hockey, along with the excitement and struggle that they individually and collectively feel when playing the sport.

That being said, trying to accurately depict hockey through animation is a test, as the sport requires a lot of skill and technique. With Pixar taking inspiration by looking at childhood sports films like The Mighty Ducks, it shows the lengths they went to authentically represent children close to Riley’s age that play sports like hockey. Ultimately, this makes Inside Out 2 more relatable to young audiences.

The Pixar Storyboard Artist Reveals Other Inspirations for the Animated Sequel

Riley's emotions from left to right Anger, Fear, Joy, Sadness, Disgust holding Envy, and Anxiety all looking at Embarrassment who appears to be touching the control panel in Inside Out 2 | Agents of Fandom
Personal experiences can be the best inspiration for art. Image Credit: Disney/Pixar.

The Inside Out films are unique because they primarily focuses on how our emotions shape who we are and how we interact with others. These films also deal with the many stages of growing up and in order to create these stages, the crew behind Inside Out 2 went back to a specific source material: their own lives.

“I ended up flipping through a lot of old photos of myself, which was terrible, but [the Pixar crew] was really open and sort of bringing a piece of themselves from that transitional period like the 12 to 13 area. So that’s sort of where I was drawing the most inspiration from because that felt the most real.”

—Rebecca McVeigh on how her personal life inspired the art of Inside Out 2

With the Pixar crew having gone back and shared stories from their childhood, it gives Inside Out 2 a greater purpose, making feel universally relatable to everyone of all ages. Adding that layer of personal experiences provides a real, heartwarming touch, which is an ingredient that often makes Disney-Pixar animated films enjoyable to watch.

Inside Out 2 is now playing in theaters. Follow the Agents of Fandom socials for all the latest entertainment news and reviews.

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