Can Pixar Succeed With Another Female-Focused Film?

Source: Pixar

Pixar has released the plot details about its upcoming movie, Inside Out, which is set to come out next summer. Pete Docter, who won an Academy Award for the Pixar film Up, is set to direct. Inside Out will be about a young girl named Riley attempting to deal with her emotions as she undergoes a big move from the Midwest to San Francisco when her father takes a job in California. Riley’s emotions will be personified featuring a stellar comedic voice cast that includes Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, and Mindy Kaling.

“Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions — Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how to best navigate a new city, house, and school,” Pixar said of the movie.

Pixar has been criticized in the past for its lack of attention to female characters. Up until 2012′s Brave, the renowned animation studio hadn’t produced a film featuring a female lead, and the feminist reception to Brave was somewhat mixed. Some critics thought that Brave’s protagonist, Merida, was a refreshing break from stereotypical Disney princesses, but others felt that the movie only employed “familiar girl-empowerment tropes” and wasn’t very original.

This new film sees Pixar again addressing gender issues by focusing on a female lead character. Inside Out is not only about a young girl but also features two of the biggest feminist voices in Hollywood with Poehler and Kaling. Both women are successful writers, the leads of their own popular television shows, and have often spoken out about various feminist issues.