In a world where Disney magic meets the high seas, the Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise offers an exclusive peek behind the curtain at some of Disney’s most highly anticipated projects. This year’s buzz was all about Pixar’s upcoming blockbuster, Inside Out 2, set to premiere on June 14th. Fans had the unique chance to dive into “The ‘Joy’ of Production Design with Jason Deamer,” an engaging session led by a pivotal figure from Pixar Animation Studios. Deamer, whose tenure at Pixar dates back to A Bug’s Life, shared intriguing stories and insider details, making it a presentation to remember.

Deamer kicked things off by reminiscing about his career highlights and the profound influence of his late mentor, Ralph Eggleston. Eggleston had invited Deamer to step up as an art director on WALL-E, paving the way for his role as production designer on the acclaimed short film, Piper. Taking over from Eggleston as the production designer for Inside Out 2 was a bittersweet tribute to his mentor. As Deamer explained, the decade since the original Inside Out has seen significant technological upgrades at Pixar, necessitating the redesign of beloved characters. While many updates are subtle, Riley’s noticeable transformation into a 13-year-old, complete with realistic adolescent traits, stands out.

The unveiling of new characters introduced fans to innovative designs steeped in creativity and emotion. Anxiety, modeled as an orange lightning bolt, and other new emotions – Enui, Embarrassment, and Envy – each had their unique visual cues. Anxiety, in particular, was carefully crafted to be Joy’s antagonist while still being empathetic. Deamer credited UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner for guiding the team to ensure these emotions’ portrayal was both accurate and relatable.

One of Deamer’s favorite sequences involves Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Anxiety, thrown into a vault containing quirky characters like Bloofy, a 2D animated preschool character, and the retro video game icon Lance Slashblade. These characters break from Inside Out’s typical design, creating unique challenges and delightful surprises. Fans should keep an eye out for Lance Slashblade’s hidden hockey stick and a visual homage to Terry Gilliam’s Brazil within these scenes.

The new locations in Inside Out 2 are a testament to Deamer’s imaginative prowess. The bedroom designed for the emotions is particularly enchanting, with each bunk bed reflecting the personalities of its occupant. Joy’s origami collection even includes an homage to Bing Bong and a nod to the Pizza Planet Truck, one of Pixar’s signature Easter Eggs. Moreover, the elaborate Belief System, originally cut from the first film, returns as a visually mesmerizing concept inspired by the movements of guitar strings in slow motion.

Deamer didn’t shy away from sharing fascinating cut content from Inside Out 2. Among the discarded ideas were Riley’s ukulele hobby, a mind theme park with attractions like the Emotional Rollercoaster, and Emotional Bay where emotions fished for ideas. A particularly intriguing cut concept involved Joy gaining the superpower to refract the lights of other emotions. Fans might also be intrigued by the omission of the emotion “Shame,” deemed more of a state of mind than a consistent emotion, and a humorous “Cry Hard” sequence, inspired by Die Hard.

Closing the presentation with a delightfully quirky twist, Deamer showcased some “broken renders” – glitchy animation errors that humorously failed during production. These clips, along with a few extra Easter Eggs like a 4*Town poster in Riley’s bedroom and Lenny from Toy Story acting as binoculars, added an extra sprinkle of magic to the session. Fittingly, Deamer paid homage to Eggleston with a mind worker character bearing the late mentor’s signature pastel paint smudges, a touching nod to his lasting impact.

So, dear Disney fans, are you excited to catch all these amazing details and Easter Eggs in Inside Out 2? Let us know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to share this story with fellow Pixar enthusiasts. We can’t wait to embark on this emotional journey with you when Inside Out 2 hits theaters on June 14th!