PIXAR and the Female Driven Story, with Brave and Inside Out

By now everyone has probably seen a PIXAR film. From their first, Toy Story in 1995, to their Academy Award nominated and winning 7 films like UP (2009), Ratatouille (2007), The Incredibles (2004).

What you may have noticed was that many of their films are primarily buddy comedies involving two main male characters and all female characters either served minimal subplots or were love interests to the main protagonist.

The buddy trop is seen with Remmy and Linguini and Ratatouille, Buzz and Woody in the Toy Story franchise, Mater and Lightning McQueen in the Cars films, Mike and Sulley in the Monsters films and so on. Of course this isn’t saying they haven’t had a good number of great female characters. From Jessie in Toy Story 2 & 3 to Dory of Finding Nemo (2003), to Mrs. Incredible in the Incredibles.

The thing is just that these characters were never the main one or much of a focal point in anyway. They served a purpose but more or less side-kicks.

In 2012 this changed with Brave, an almost entirely female driven story about the relationship between mother and daughter. Of course this may have been because the film was directed by PIXAR’s first female director, Brenda Chapman who also created the original story. The film went on to receive and Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Brave ©PIXAR

Again, this summer, PIXAR will be releasing its second female-driven film. Inside Out (2015), check out the trailer right here:

The film revolves around the emotions bobbing about in a young girl’s head. These are Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Fear (Bill Hader), voiced by an all-star cast of current comedians. The group try to properly navigate the girl through her life after a big move with her family to San Francisco.

After watching the trailer it is clear that the two main characters will be Joy and Sadness, both of which are women or at least presented as such, since it’s strange to think of emotions as having genders. But regardless, it will follow the traditional buddy comedy that PIXAR loves to follow, but instead with two females.

The other three emotions are left to struggle with directing the young girl, minus Joy and Sadness, which of course doesn’t sound like an easy task.

Inside Out ©Disney/PIXAR
Inside Out ©Disney/PIXAR

What do you think of Inside Out? Are you going to see it this June?

Until next time!

damian alexander


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