CinemaCon: Pixar's 'Inside Out' Premieres for Theater Owners

Pixar

The animated film is among a slew of high-profile tentoples expected to deliver Disney its biggest year ever, including 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' and 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.'

Disney anchored its CinemaCon presentation Wednesday with the first screening of Pixar's Inside Out, directed by Up filmmaker Pete Docter and shown in Dolby's new Dolby Vision.

Earning immediate praise for its smart storyline, the film goes inside the head of a young girl, where five different emotions — joy, anger, disgust, fear and sadness — try to run the inner workings of their 11-year old keeper.

But when the girl's parents force her to move to San Francisco, leaving her friends behind, trouble begins for the team of emotions. Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) struggles to keep the girl's spirits up, but she becomes separated from the rest of the team and unable to help her through the tough transition. As Joy attempts to make her way back to the control room (with Sadness in tow), the other three emotions push the young girl further and further from the values and memories that make her who she is. 

Inside Out, directed by Docter and Ronnie del Carmen, makes its "official" world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and is hitting theaters June 19.

Exhibitors were wowed by the movie, although some wonder whether the concept is too complicated for young tots. (It isn't the first time a Pixar film has prompted this concern before it opened, only to become a box office hit with all age groups.)

Otherwise, Disney's presentation in Las Vegas was relatively brief since the studio already released trailers for Tomorrowland (June 22), Ant-Man (July 17) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dec. 18) in recent days, timed to Avengers: Age of Ultron, which begins its international rollout today, and last weekend's Star Wars Celebration.

"I'd say we have some very exciting things on the horizon," said Disney's worldwide distribution chief Dave Hollis before playing each of the trailers again for the audience, as well as a previously released Tomorrowland featurette explaning how the movie was inspired in part by Walt Disney's vision for the future and Epcot Center.

"The studio is looking forward to what we expect to be an astounding 2015. When it comes to big theatrical event films, our lineup paralleled between the Disney, Pixar, Marvel and LucasFilm brands. For the first time, each of those brands will be on display in 2015.

Inside Out returns Pixar to the big screen for the first time since summer 2013, and is one two films from the animation powerhouse hitting theaters this year. The other is The Good Dinosaur, which opens Nov. 25. Conversely, there is no offering from Disney Animation Studios this year. Its next title, Zootopia, opens March 4, 2016.

Taking the stage at CinemaCon, Docter revealed that the storyline for Inside Out was inspired by his daughter, Elie, who had a speaking part in Up. He explained, "she started getting moody and more reclusive. We wondered, 'what's going on inside her head?'"

The voice cast features Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black and Mindy Kaling.

Inside Out gave theater owners their first glimpse of Dolby’s new high dynamic range (HDR) projection system, which provides greater contrast and and a wider color gamut. Tomorrowland and Inside Out will be the first movies released in the format.

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