Over nearly two decades (2015 is the 20th anniversary of the studio's first feature, Toy Story), Pixar has become a beloved institution among families, cinephiles and animation junkies. They've humanized toys (Toy Story), robots (Wall-E), bugs (A Bug's Life), fish (Finding Nemo) and monsters (Monsters Inc.). They've given us one of the best superhero films ever (The Incredibles) and one of the most moving tales of simple human adventure of our time (Up). They've also faced quite a lot of scrutiny lately from people who believe their glory days are behind them. The studio's last four releases were three sequels (Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Monsters University) and one divisive original film (Brave), and 2014 was the first year since 2005 that we didn't get a new Pixar film.
Fortunately, the Pixar team seems poised to silence its critics with Inside Out, an ambitious project from Monsters Inc. and Up director Pete Docter that will take us inside the mind and emotions of an 11-year-old girl. When Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) moves to San Francisco with her parents, she must adjust to a new life, and her emotions -- in this case, humanoid beings that live inside her mind in a place called Headquarters -- must help her. Growing up isn't easy, but growing up while also trying to learn to live in a new place is even harder, and amid the chaos of Riley's life, it's up to Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Anger (Lewis Black) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) to set things right.
Today, a little more than eight months before the film arrives, Pixar has released the first teaser trailer, but only half of it's devoted to actual Inside Out footage. The rest ties into the emotion-heavy themes of the film, but it does it by reliving great moments of Pixar past. Check it out and you'll see what I mean.
Yes, it does feel like a bit of a cheat to see the studio practically shouting "Look at all these great movies we made before," but this is just a teaser trailer. If Wall-E starts appearing in every trailer from here on out, we might have a problem. For now, though, Pixar's just trying to remind us they're good at emotions, and in doing so they've set this film up as a kind of culmination of that type of storytelling. Let's hope Inside Out can pull it off.
Inside Out hits theaters June 19, 2015.
(Via The Playlist)