Directing a sequel to Inside Out — one of the most popular and acclaimed films in the history of Pixar — is tough. Directing a sequel to Inside Out after the original was directed by Pete Docter — the Chief Creative Officer of Pixar — is even tougher.

But this was the task for Kelsey Mann, who is behind the camera for Inside Out 2, which opens this weekend. For Mann — who is directing his very first film — the task stirred many emotions, but ultimately it was a job he joyfully took on.

“I really wanted to direct Inside Out 2 because I felt like there was more story to tell,” Mann said. “At the end of the first film, Joy asked the audience a question. She says, ‘after all Riley is 12 now, what could happen?’ Well, I wanted to answer that question.”

Mann added that his hope for the film — which welcomes new Emotions such as Anxiety to the mind of the now-teenaged Riley — is to “tell a story that made some teenagers lives that much easier.”

“It’s all about navigating those different emotions,” Mann noted. “A lot of it is me trying to connect to myself as a teenager and all the changes that I went through at that time that helped me get through all the changes I’m going to go through as a director.”

Mann went on to say that he got to “follow in the footsteps of the great Pete Docter,” who helped Mann “immensely.” Docter taught Mann about “the rules of the world of Inside Out that he and his team helped create,” and about leadership.

“Pete taught me so much about really relying on your crew, giving them the direction that they need, trusting them to make the best decisions, and just get out of their way and watch the magic happen,” Mann said.

Mann noted that one of his first directorial decisions was expanding Inside Out 2, and not just with new Emotions for Riley, but for the look of the film itself.

“Riley is a teenager, and her world is expanding. She’s adding new emotions at the console. I thought, why not expand the aspect ratio?” Mann explained. “So, we did that for this film because it’s something that Riley’s going through and also because I love going to the theaters and seeing a big wide aspect ratio up on the screen.”

Mann concluded the conversation saying he’s excited for audiences to see this new, expanded world on the big screen too.

“I love going to the movies. In fact, I would say one of my first core memories is going to the movies,” he said. “I was sitting in the front row with my dad watching Star Wars when I was five years old, and that really cemented my love of cinema and going to the theaters.”

Disney and Pixar’s Inside Out 2 debuts only in theaters on June 14.

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