Pixar sat 2014 out on the sidelines, but the animation powerhouse is coming back in a big way during 2015. This year will see the release of not one, but two original offerings from the studio: Inside Out in June and The Good Dinosaur in November.
Given that the latter is just a little over four months away, Pixar has been revving up the marketing machine for Pete Docter's (Up, Monsters, Inc.) latest, which revolves around a young girl named Riley and the five emotions that live inside her head: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger.
The film's latest trailer provided hints at the movie's overall dynamic, in which Riley and her parents deal with changing circumstances in their lives (and how these circumstances impact personal development). For the TV spot that aired during Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl yesterday (watch it above), Pixar just focused on setting up the basic premise (meeting the little voices inside your head), in a way reminiscent of the film's first teaser.
The commercial shows Riley watching the Puppy Bowl, and then illustrates how her different emotions react to the action that's taking place on the field. For example, Anger gets mad over a penalty call, while Fear becomes nervous at the prospect of sudden death overtime. It's a cute and effective way of selling audiences on the concept and introducing viewers to the main characters.
Given that it's only a 40-second clip, there wasn't much room to show off new footage (the material here appears that it was made exclusively for the purposes of the TV spot), but that's not a big deal. Pixar still has plenty of time to put together a marketing campaign, and there are already two other trailers that interested parties can watch if they want more information about the film. For what this preview was trying to do - raise awareness for the new Pixar offering - it was successful in its goals.
The studio's past few endeavors (Brave, Monsters University) have generally been well-received, but both critics and audiences have expressed that Pixar isn't operating at the height of their powers like they were during the 2000s, when it seemed that every project they put out was an instant family classic. Many are hopeful that Inside Out will serve as a return to form for them, especially since it's the first original movie they'll put out in three years - and it has the minds behind some of the studio's most beloved flicks working on it.
From where we stand right now, it certainly seems like the possibility of Inside Out becoming the next truly great Pixar film is high. Not only is the basic idea cut from the same cloth as some of their most creative movies, but the balancing act between showing Riley's and her parents' emotions (giving all three sets their share of screen time) should allow the film to be thought-provoking entertainment with big heart for all ages, similar to the studio's earlier works. For those reasons Inside Out was one of our most-anticipated films of the year - and it looks like we won't be disappointed.
Inside Out will be in theaters June 19, 2015.