Inside Out 2 Had An ‘Advisory Group’ Of Teenage Girls From Around The Country To Help Make The Film Feel Authentic

 Riley in hockey jersey in Inside Out 2.
Credit: Pixar

When Inside Out was released almost a decade ago, it tapped into something global audiences didn’t know they needed. Being able to look at our emotions from the inside out proved to be an incredibly cathartic experience, as mental health is a concept that anybody can relate to. Now, with the release of Inside Out 2, we find the main character Riley as a teenager. While this is also a phase most of us can relate to, for the filmmakers it’s been a while, and creating an authentic story about a teenager might prove to be tricky. This is where Riley’s Crew comes in.

I recently sat down to speak with Inside Out 2’s director Kelsey Mann and producer Mark Nielsen, and as you can imagine, neither of  them are teenage girls. To properly tell Riley’s story, they enlisted the help of an “advisory group” that became known as Riley’s Crew, and Leslie Mann gave me a very logical explanation as to why this was a necessity:

They're really an advisory group. I had that idea pretty early on because I want to make sure the story that we're telling is authentic and real. It's been a while since I've been 13, and I was never a 13 year old girl. So I pitch to them, ‘Can I have an advisory group of teenage girls?’ And they're like, ‘Sure.’ I thought I had to sell them on it, but they're like, ‘How many do you want?’ I was like, ‘Oh, nine?’

It’s pretty funny that director Kelsey Mann thought this was going to be a hard sell for the studio, and they almost immediately cleared Riley’s Crew for take off. Mann went on to explain that they also wanted diversity amongst the group of nine, so they came from all over the country. It must have worked, too, because people are going nuts for Inside Out 2, specifically how it captures what it’s like to be a teenager with anxiety.

Let me attempt to extrapolate on that. Not only has Inside Out 2 been dominating the box office, but fans and critics alike are going nuts for the film. Our official review awarded Inside Out 2 4.5/5 stars, and the internet is going off about the immense relatability. As far as sequels go, this response is just about the best you can ask for.

Delving into a sequel at all is a risky move, as fandom these days can get pretty angry when you mess with a beloved property. The first Inside Out is considered to be one of the best Pixar movies, and one can only imagine that taking their time played into the success of the sequel. It took almost a decade for Inside Out 2 to finally hit theaters, and this has even inspired Patton Oswalt to take his sweet time on a potential Ratatouille sequel. It sounds to me like the success of Inside Out 2 is affecting how the industry proceeds with sequels in general.

Experience the authenticity that Riley’s Crew helped inject into Inside Out 2 by seeing the film in theaters right now! Keep it here at CinemaBlend to see what else is coming down the box office pipeline in 2024.