When you look ahead to 2015 and note the films that are on the way, you may be overwhelmed by the large number of buzzed-about films: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World, Tomorrowland, etc. Even Pixar, a studio that normally only releases one film each year, will have two feature films debut. The first of those, Pete Docter’s Inside Out, continues to generate an incredible amount of buzz, even for a Pixar film. See a new still from the film after the break!
The primary setting of the film is inside the mind of 11-year-old girl Riley, where we will meet her five emotions: Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness. We will see the events of the film unfold both through the eyes of Riley and her emotions – essentially, the story will be told in parallel, where we see how outside events will influence Riley and her emotions (and vice versa). It sounds complicated but it seems that Docter and his team have found a creative way to capture an audience of all ages.
The story has Riley move to San Francisco after her father accepts a job at a startup company in the city. Considering that the major shift not only leads Riley to having to adapt to living in a busy city, but she must also attend a new school and make new friends. Add in her transition to becoming a teenager, and there is potential for a huge increase in stress. Obviously, her emotions will make this journey with her, making this an opportune time for telling a story through all five of them. It is Joy, though, who is Riley’s most important emotion, and is, as a result, the lead character. In a preview of 2015 films, EW released a new still featuring the character, who seems to be standing in the area of the mind where memories are held. Take a look at the image below:
Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) is Pixar’s second female lead, following in the footsteps of Merida from Brave. Before the release of the film starring the stubborn red-headed princess, there was much criticism directed at the studio for continuing to release male-led films. Although there was no shortage of great female characters in the studio’s catalog, such as Dory (Finding Nemo), Jessie (Toy Story), and Ellie (Up), there were concerns that many of Pixar’s stories were male-driven.
Now, you would be hard-pressed to find articles written about Joy being the second female to be the lead protagonist of a Pixar film. Perhaps the reasoning for that is headlines announcing a second of something are never quite as sexy as when they get to say an event is happening for the “first time ever.” Even Docter and others at Pixar are mum on the subject, but that is likely by design. The film’s story happens to place a female in the lead role. Beyond that, having Riley and her story be inspired by Docter’s daughter leaves room for a potentially exciting narrative told from a female’s perspective. The wait for this film is definitely as arduous as ever.