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A still from 'Inside Out 2' emotions
Walt Disney Studios

Inside Out 2 Relied On A Team Of Teenage Girl Consultants To Get Puberty Right

“Riley’s crew” consulted every four months.

Delving into the emotions of a 13-year-old girl is not for the feint of heart. Especially for adults who are writing a movie like Inside Out 2, the hotly anticipated Disney/Pixar sequel to 2015’s Inside Out, and hoping to avoid coming across as adults trying to write about teenagers. It’s such a delicate balance, and we all know that one wrong word can change the entire tone. Which is why these filmmakers decided to bring in a group of nine teenage girls to consult on the movie to help make sure that Riley’s experience as a 13-year-old girl starting out high school will be as authentic as possible.

Inside Out 2, which is set to be released in theaters across the country on June 14, sees Riley, the young girl from the original movie, getting ready to head into high school as a 13-year-old girl. Her emotions from the first movie, Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Tony Hale, taking over for Bill Hader), and Disgust (Liza Lapira, who replaced Mindy Kaling), are all at Headquarters to help her get through. Until a new group of emotions show up and make it clear that they’re the captains now.

Anxiety (Maya Hawke) takes over along with Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos), and Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser). Emotions that will absolutely resonate with anyone who has gone through puberty. Or is still going through it, as is the case with the nine teenage girls who were called in as “Riley’s crew” to make sure the writers were getting things right on Inside Out 2, according to Pixar Post. The outlet reports that “Riley’s crew” was brought in every four months to screen updated versions of the movie and offer feedback to ensure that an authentic tone was struck in the film.

The desire to be as truly honest about the teenage experience as possible has been a driving force behind Inside Out 2, ever since the first movie ended with the big “puberty” button about to be pushed. Poehler opened up about the new movie in a 2022 People interview, explaining the goal of the movie is to be true to “what it feels like to be a teenager, the new emotions that live inside a young person’s brain. In many ways, it was really exciting. We knew exactly where we were. We go to the teen brain and we see the madness that lives inside there.”

The writers were so committed to giving an honest portrayal that Polygon reported there were a total of nine new emotions that were being considered including Guilt, Jealousy, and Schadenfreude. Now we’re wondering if Riley’s crew put an end to Schadenfreude as an emotion? They are the taste-makers, after all.