‘Inside Out 2’ Screens Delightful First 35 Minutes at CinemaCon as Maya Hawke’s Anxiety Steals the Show

Some of the biggest laughs of CinemaCon came from Disney and Pixar’s well-received debut of the first 35 minutes of “Inside Out 2,” the sequel to its beloved Oscar-winning original film about a young girl named Riley and the emotions in her head. The sequel opens June 14.

Amy Poehler, who returns as the emotion Joy, was on hand in Las Vegas Thursday to introduce the “new story that captures the beauty and hilarity of the emotions we experience on a daily basis.”

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It begins with Riley – now entering her teens – back playing ice hockey while reintroducing the emotions from the first film: Joy, Sadness (Phyllis Smith) and Anger (Lewis Black) along with Fear (Tony Hale, replacing Bill Hader from the first movie) and Disgust (Liza Lapira, replacing Mindy Kaling). Riley has grown to be kind, and with her friends is among the players invited to hockey camp.

That night, a strange noise – an alarm labeled puberty – sounds, waking the emotions as a construction crew shows up and reconfigures headquarters and the emotions’ console for “the others.”

Riley grows increasingly out of sorts as headquarters gets crowded with new emotions including Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos), Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser) and Nostalgia (June Squibb).

Led by scene stealer Anxiety, chaos ensues as the emotions battle for control of Riley. The original five are trapped in a jar as “suppressed emotions.” There, they meet a hilarious collection of 2D-animated characters including “denial” that got big laughs.

The 2015 original, which also combine humor with heart, was directed and co-written by Pete Docter, now Pixar’s three-time Oscar winning chief creative officer. The sequel marks the directorial debut of Kelsey Mann (whose credits include serving as story supervisor on Pixar’s “Onward” and “The Good Dinosaur”) from a script by Oscar-nominated writer Meg LeFauve, who also co-wrote the original “Inside Out,” and Dave Holstein.

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