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Pixar to Release Its Second Movie With a Female Protagonist Next Year

Pixar to Release Its Second Movie With a Female Protagonist Next Year

On the heels of Disney’s Frozen becoming the fifth highest-grossing film of all time comes news of Pixar’s next girl-centric movie. 

Inside Out, which will only be the second Pixar release with a female protagonist in twenty years, will focus on the embodied emotions inside 11-year-old Riley who undergoes a painful move. Here’s the official plot description: 

“Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. 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 best to navigate a new city, house and school.”

While I’m not thrilled that Pixar’s first female protagonist, Brave‘s Merida, was a princess and that this second girl-centric movie is premised on how emotional girls are, Inside Out definitely represents progress. And to be fair, Pixar does strive to make Riley’s emotionality part of a universal experience in the description above; by being guided by her feelings, she is “like all of us.” Pixar also has another (kinda) woman-centric film scheduled for 2016: Finding Dory, framed around Ellen DeGeneres’ amnesiac fish. 

These more inclusive projects don’t erase the fact that it took Pixar 17 years to release a movie with a female protagonist, or that the only female director (Brenda Chapman) in the company’s history was fired midway through a film she based partly on her daughter, but at least they’re proving receptive to change. 

Inside Out will debut on June 19, 2015.

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