Kit Steinkellner
October 03, 2014 12:10 pm

The teaser trailer for Inside Out just came out, and whenever a trailer for a new Pixar movie drops, the Internet explodes into a bajillion pieces and has to spend the rest of the day putting itself back together. It’s always for good reason, and Inside Out is no exception: there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to Pixar’s new movie. The film tells the story of an 11-year-old girl named Riley who is uprooted from her small-town Midwestern life when her dad gets a new job in San Francisco. When she starts a new school, her emotions (Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness) are thrown into turmoil. Each of these emotions is vivid, alive, and personified and viewers get to see what’s going on inside Riley’s head and watch her feelings conflict as she adjusts to her new surroundings (hence, ahem, the title Inside Out).  Needless to say, there’s much for us to fangirl about, so let’s get INTO IT (pun absolutely intended, the puns are always intended).

Pixar Is Continuing Its (Relatively New) Feminist-Minded Journey

Pixar made 12 movies with male protagonists before it brought us Merida, Princess of the Scottish Highlands, Pixar’s first female heroine in Brave. Yes, we had some great female characters in previous movies, but it was never their story, and their arcs were always relegated to subplot. It’s also important to note that Brave was the first Pixar movie in which the primary relationship and conflict of the movie was one between females: Merida and her mom (who was also sometimes a bear).

Pixar is continuing their efforts to put women front and center with Inside Out, and not only is Riley our heroine, but so is Joy (whom I suspect may be our story’s real protagonist). Also, three out of the five emotions are women.

The Voice Actors Are Top Notch

The voices in this movie are so good it’s killing me. Amy Poehler as Joy? Phyllis Smith (Phyllis from “The Office”) as Sadness? Bill Hader as Fear? Lewis Black as Anger? Mindy Kaling as Disgust? Stop, just stop already, it hurts too awesome.

We LOVE The Writer/Director

Peter Docter has returned! Peter Docter has returned! Sound those old-fashioned medieval horn things you’re supposed to blow when a dragon-slaying hero has returned to the castle, because Peter Docter has returned. Docter directed both Monsters, Inc and Up, so know we can trust him to make us laugh our tails off and cry like the saddest little babies. I’m so excited, I’m basically not going to be able to sleep for the next nine months until this movie comes out.

The Design Is Gorgeous

The emotions are like little elfin gremlin-sprites. I’m totally going to be Joy next year for Halloween, or maybe Disgust (I really like Disgust’s skirt-scarf combo). I’m so mad at Pixar for only giving us the tiniest peek at footage (the trailer is mostly clips of other Pixar films talking about how all these now-famous characters experienced the emotions explored in the film and it’s like yes, we are aware that good storytelling is about characters having feelings, can we please see ninety seconds of new footage now?! Please and thank you).

Making The Emotions Of A Young Girl Not Only Important, But Heroic, Is A Game Changer

Here’s the deal. In order for a young woman’s story to be taken seriously in the world of Blockbuster Movies, the story almost always has to have a traditionally male take. Gross Old Hollywood goes, “Well, yeah, people will see The Hunger Games and Divergent because even though it’s about young girls, they’re like FIGHTING with like BOWS and ARROWS and KICKING PEOPLE and stuff so maybe amidst all that fighting people won’t notice we’re telling a young girl’s coming-of-age story?”

What’s revolutionary about Inside Out is that it’s placing a young girl’s feelings front and center. Her emotions are the adventure. This film plays on a universal scale (because everyone has emotions, that’s part of the deal when you’re born as a human instead of, say, an insect or a piece of moss), but we’re focusing the universal through a young female’s lens. Usually we have to watch our big-time movies through an adult male point of view, which has been totally fine, really enjoyed Star Wars and Indiana Jones and those twelve Pixar movies before Brave, but it is important and necessary to validate the young female experience on film, too. Pixar is doubling down on their efforts to empower their female audience and advocate for girls’ stories being told, and all that is very, very, very great.

Check out the teaser trailer for Inside Out below and let us know your feels!

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