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.

After Inside Out, next on Pixar’s plate is The Good Dinosaur, set for release during Thanksgiving 2015. The movie is about an Apatosaurus named Arlo who befriends a boy named Spot and also boasts an all-star voice cast, featuring Neil Patrick Harris, Francis McDormand, and John Lithgow.

Earlier this spring, Pixar confirmed that a third Cars installment and a sequel to 2004′s The Incredibles were both in the works, though no timeline for either of those projects has been set. Brad Bird, the writer and director of The Incredibles, will return to work on the sequel, making fans of the modern animated classic breathe a collective sigh of relief regarding the sequel’s potential to achieve a similar level of quality as its predecessor. The highly anticipated sequel to Finding Nemo will hit theaters a bit sooner than those other projects, with the release date of Finding Dory set for June 17, 2016.

Inside Out’s U.S. release date is set for June 19, 2015.

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