Girl Power: Pixar’s Next Movie Literally Reads Our Minds

If you haven’t noticed, Pixar has yet to create a female-centric movie that doesn’t involve princesses. As much as I love Brave, the first Pixar story with a female protagonist, I want to see a regular girl doing amazing things, and leading the way. Many male-driven films have proven that you don’t have to be royalty to take on an adventure or set out on a personal odyssey. I’ve heard the sorry excuse, “well, people don’t want to watch a movie about a girl,” but the success of Brave (as well as Frozen and Tangled) have paved the way for change. We’ve wanted another female-driven Pixar film—particularly one about a regular girl—for some time now, and it seems like we’ll be getting our wish.

Inside OutPixar’s newest venture for next year, is not at all about a princess. It’s about a girl named Riley, although from what I’ve read, Riley is more than just a singular character. Her alter-egos play more pronounced roles. Joy (who will be voiced by Amy Poehler!) is Riley’s happy, positive self. She’s also got Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Anger (Lewis Black), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). All emotions function together as a team to help lead Riley through the growing stages of life.


A scene from the upcoming movie, “Inside Out.” We can’t wait!

At first, Joy is the dominant voice in Riley’s head, but that all changes. As they say, you can’t stay a kid forever. You start getting zits. Your body becomes more and more alien. Your parents are no longer friendly giants, but antagonists who have the power to ground you if your report card is less than spectacular. Inside Out follows that psychological shift as Joy’s role in Riley’s life is suddenly usurped by Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. This band of negativity transforms Riley into an angsty, moody tween, and it’s up to Joy to find a way to compromise with all four emotions so Riley can be rescued from herself.

What’s so incredible about this movie, is that it’s about a young girl who faces internal struggles many of us are too familiar with. There’s no man saving her here, and she doesn’t have the classic sidekick. She solely has herself (well, parts of herself). I know when I was thirteen, I didn’t have anyone to ask, “why am I feeling so frustrated all the time, or so inexplicably sad?” I had to figure it out on my own, and I think many of us have had to do the same. This movie could serve as a guide for all those kids going through the emotional rip-tides of adolescence.

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  • Veronica Leone

    Of course I love to see female characters in movies, and am excited that this film is being made, but I think they probably didn’t make it about a boy/male character because we still have this recurring societal expectation that girls are more emotional and moody, especially teenage girls. Of course some of that belief is based in truth but I would love to see some more young male characters who acknowledge their emotions, and not just the love-sick girl-crazy kind or anger/aggression. Agree/disagree?

    • Jill Stevenson

      I talk to my husband all the time about why males are so different with their emotions and feelings than girls. Naturally, girls are designed as emotional responsive beings, we tend to incorporate several different, separate things together, where boys are not emotional responsive beings, they are naturally analytical, logical, “fix-it”, reactionary type people. That’s not to say that boys don’t respond with emotions, but it’s not as often a “thing” for them as it is for girls. (Just like girls can be analytical, and logical people, but it’s not as common as it is for a boy.) Girls, far more often than boys, will react to a situation with an emotion. We tend to get frustrated, angry, excitable, happy, far too easily compared to guys. (Again, i’m not saying the shoe isn’t on the other foot, but if you were to take a poll or do some kind of experiment between guys and girls you’d find what i’m saying to be truthful.) Boys ARE more angry/aggressive beings than girls, that’s why you see more situations involving them, than you do girls. That’s why in the news it’s rare to find a rapist that’s a female, or a murderer that’s a female, most of them, are male. (Just using one example there.) And boys, CONSTANTLY think about sex and girls after they reach a certain age. It’s natural. Yes, girls think about sex and boys, but again, not as often, or nearly as much as males do.

      What I think needs to happen, is that we need to realize that we are two different types of beings. We need to embrace our actual individuality and stop trying to be like each other. Movies like this, I do think are great because yes, the situation that was described does seem to happen to all girls; but it’s also ok to do a 1 out of 10000 movie, where a situation with a girl is rare compared to that with a boy. (For example, Charlize Theron’s movie “Monster” where she played a serial killer. There are not that many female serial killers.)

      No, I don’t believe “all little girls are princesses”, and I don’t think that we need to be viewed as princesses all the time, but I’m definitely not ok with painting a fake view of what/who a girl is just to please a minority of people that think we are actually equal…because we’re not.

      • ‘Tober Lien Gee

        Why are you even on this site?

      • Ashley Marie Wallace

        I was trying to stay with you throughout your post. Really, I was. I like to be open-minded and I could kind of see where you were coming from with SOME things you said. However you completely lost me with your last paragraph and specifically your last statement. Not equal? Not. Equal. NOT EQUAL? Are you freaking kidding me?

        Most of your post I can see that you were trying to say that boys and girls are “different” however the end when you said we are not equal skewed the entire post. Different and equal have two ENTIRELY different meanings and I suggest you figure that out and use the correct one.

        Also is anything you said based on facts or just what you hear in the news and what you want to believe?

  • D’yani Wood

    Totally agree, Veronica. More emotional honesty from everyone, boy and girl!

    • Harriet Mawdsley

      Yes yes yes my only worry whilst reading this article is that yet again its the male gaze interpreting the female experience and yet again the female experience is centered on emotions but hopefully this is a step in the right direction for viewers at least to see a female protagonist! But yes emotional honestly from all genders please!

  • Nikki Salisbury

    This sounds like it could be a great movie. I think it could go either way though. This will either appeal to everyone and give some great insight to the minds of us ladies, or it will be just another girly movie about emotions and all the BS that makes us the butt of manly men jokes.

  • Clau Piña

    Can’t wait!

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