'The 'Inside Out' TV series is coming sooner than you think — and I can't wait to watch it

The emotions screaming at the desk in "Inside Out 2"
(Image credit: Disney)

Just a few weeks out from the release of "Inside Out 2", a Bloomberg report revealed that Pixar's president, Jim Morris, was heading up a change of pace at the animation studio. According to Bloomberg, Morris' new strategy for Pixar 'involves balancing original movie ideas with sequels and spinoffs' to 'remind audiences what they once loved about Pixar'. The same report also confirmed that we would be getting an "Inside Out" spinoff series called "Dream Productions," in addition to the recently-released sequel.  

From the reactions I saw online, I know I wasn't the only one who viewed this news with trepidation. Does this mean Pixar will shun trying new projects like "Turning Red" and "Luca" — both well worth seeking out on Disney Plus — in favor of becoming another franchise machine that trots out bigger, more bankable IPs? Disney's already having to battle superhero fatigue on the Marvel front, and I certainly don't think the House of Mouse would want people to turn on Pixar, either. 

We've only got a few bits of info to go off, at present, but the more I've thought about it, the more I'm starting to think that this "Dream Productions" series (which is apparently coming our way early next year) might be going straight on my watchlist.  

What's the 'Inside Out' TV show about? 

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in mid-June, Pixar chief creative officer Pete Docter has given us a few hints about the series. This upcoming spinoff will take us back to Dream Productions and will investigate what power dreams hold in a little more detail. 

"We have finished," Docter said. "It's coming out next spring. I'm not sure that there's been a specific release date, but in the first film, remember we go to Dream Production to see how Riley's dreams are made? It semi-explains why they're so weird. We've continued the exploration of the power of dreams and how they affect us in our waking life, as well. So it's pretty cool."

That's all we have to go on, at present; we don't know which characters might appear, or exactly what kind of story or themes it'll deal with. So why am I looking forward to it? 

Inside Out 2 | Official Trailer - YouTube Inside Out 2 | Official Trailer - YouTube
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So, why am I excited for the "Inside Out" spinoff?

The Pixar team, at its very best, produces instant classics. The first "Inside Out" was one of the studio's most well-received hits (it still holds a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes), and "Inside Out 2" has proved that Pixar isn't just phoning it in on the sequel front. 

The new movie's currently playing in theaters. It's won a lot of praise from viewers and is currently busy smashing box office records. Throwing in the new emotions and dealing with the next stage of Riley's development was a great way to put a spin on the original concept. I really believe that the studio wouldn't just continually mine this particular series unless they had another worthy idea in store. The promise of seeing more of the Dream Production crew suggests a desire to continue experimenting with what "Inside Out" as a franchise offers. 

Yes, "Dream Productions" is not a "new" idea in itself. While it was a fixture of the first film, by its very nature it offers the animation studio a ton of possibilities. As we learned in "Inside Out", workers at Dream Productions turn memories into dreams which play out like movies in our minds as we sleep. This means, by design, the "Dream Productions" crew is constantly juggling all kinds of weird and wonderful ideas. 

The possibilities feel limited only to Pixar's imagination, which is a tool I am willing to rely on. With the concept of Dreams, there's tons of scope to be playful and experimental. Who knows, we could see the "Inside Out" TV show experimenting with different types of animation, mixing mediums. Or it could be some sort of genre piece, with each episode exploring a particular genre: one minute Riley could be experiencing a nightmare, the next she's off on some sort of grand adventure, she's falling in love, and so on. There's space to introduce Riley's heroes as would-be movie stars, or perhaps to introduce other departments beyond the "Inside Out 2" additions.

Yes, this is all speculation, and yes, there's every chance that I'm imagining a very different "Inside Out" spinoff to the one that's in development, but I'm not willing to count the studio out until it arrives. I'm really excited to see what they have to offer, and I hope I'm not alone on that front. 

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Staff Writer, Streaming

Martin is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, covering all things movies and TV. If it’s in the theaters or available to stream somewhere, he’s probably watched it… especially if it has a dragon in it. Before joining the team, he was a Staff Writer at What To Watch where he wrote about a broad range of shows that stretched from "Doctor Who" and "The Witcher" to "Bridgerton" and "Love Island". When he’s not watching the next must-see movie or show, he’s probably still in front of a screen playing massive RPGs, reading, spending a fortune on TCGs, or watching the NFL.