The mind of an adolescent girl can be a battlefield of emotions. And this is the rich setting of Pixar’s latest female-fronted adventure Inside Out. Past teasers have introduced us to 11-year-old Riley, whose grappling with Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). But the film’s first full trailer finally gives us some insight into the plot.
Check it out, thanks to The Film Stage:
See, Riley’s family has recently moved from the Midwest to San Francisco, completely taking the young girl out of her comfort zone. Making matters worse, some fumbles by her emotions have lost her “core memories.” While Joy and Sadness set off a road trip to restore them, Anger, Disgust and Fear are left in control. And so Teen Angst is born! (Okay, teen angst isn’t a character in Inside Out. But she seems fair game for a sequel.)
Personally, I’m curious to see how Inside Out plays out. Will Riley be portrayed as being at the mercy of her emotions? Because falling into that tired sexist trope would be a infuriating misstep for Pixar, a company that seems to think males make for better protagonist. (Their only prior female-fronted film to date was Brave. That’s 1 out of 13.)
However, Poehler’s involvement gives me hope for an aspirational message for girls over a pandering one. For those who haven’t heard of Poehler’s short-lived cartoon show Mighty B seek it out immediately. It’s about a spirited little weirdo who chooses to be positive, no matter the obstacles she faces. Think of Mighty B’s Bessie as a little Leslie Knope. Here’s hoping Joy will lead Inside Out into the vein of Poehler’s past projects, which were lush in humor, warmth, character and inspiration.
Kristy Puchko thinks Mighty B deserves an Adventure Time-level following.