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Cleveland-area clinical psychologist advised on new Pixar film ‘Inside Out 2’

A still image from the animated movie "Inside Out 2" showing the arrival of a new emotion, Anxiety.
Disney Co.
Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” returns to the mind of newly minted teenager Riley just as a new Emotion shows up unexpectedly. And Anxiety, voiced by Maya Hawke, isn’t the type of Emotion who will take a back seat either. Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen, “Inside Out 2” releases only in theaters Summer 2024. © 2023 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

In 2015, Pixar took movie audiences into the mind of a pre-teen girl, Riley Andersen, in the animated film "Inside Out." The movie introduced audiences to Riley’s emotions including Joy, Anger, Fear and Sadness as they sought to help guide Riley through the difficulty of moving to a new city.

Next week, Pixar again takes us back into Riley’s mind with the sequel, "Inside Out 2." But now, Riley is a teenager of 13 and she has a whole bunch of new emotions.

A still image from the Pixar film "Inside Out 2" showing the emotions at the control panel in Riley's mind.
WHO’S IN CHARGE? -- Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” returns to the mind of newly minted teenager Riley, where her Emotions Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale), Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) and Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira) must make room for new Emotions, including Envy (voice of Ayo Edebiri), Anxiety (voice of Maya Hawke) and Embarrassment (voice of Paul Walter Hauser). Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen, “Inside Out 2” releases only in theaters June 14, 2024. © 2024 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The filmmakers say they did a lot of research to bring the sequel to the screen and that included consulting with experts in adolescent mental health.

Cleveland-area clinical psychologist Lisa Damouris a leading expert on the topic. She’s a best-selling author of three books including “Untangled” and the “Secret Lives of Teenagers.” She also hosts the podcast, “Ask Lisa” that helps parents navigate their children’s teenage years. Damour helped the filmmakers navigate what Riley was going through in the sequel.

"When we decided we were making a movie about a teen girl and the chaos that comes with adolescence we knew we needed to talk to an expert, so we immediately called Lisa. Not only does Lisa have an incredibly empathetic understanding of the emotional lives of teens, she’s a storyteller herself, and that combination of experience and creativity was just what we needed,” said Kelsey Mann, the director of “Inside Out 2.”

The movie will be released nationwide and only in theaters on June 14.

Damour joins us for the entire hour on Wednesday’s “Sound of Ideas” to talk about her work with Pixar as well as the how the teenage years can be daunting for parents and children alike.

-Lisa Damour, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Author, Advised on "Inside Out 2"

Check out Dr. Lisa Damour's website help for families

Leigh Barr is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and the "Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable."