Oscar Watch: Inside Out

The Cannes Film Festival has given us yet another Oscar contender in its screening process today and it’s a relatively unexpected one: Disney/Pixar’s latest certain summer blockbuster Inside Out. The computer animated feature premieres statewide June 19.

There’s never much doubt that Pixar flicks are going to make a boatload of cash. And it is also a virtual certainty that their products become automatic contenders, if not outright front runners, for the Academy’s Animated Feature race. Based on reviews streaming from the south of France, Inside Out is undoubtedly going to be nominated in that category. Yet a nomination in Best Picture seems much more possible today than it did yesterday.

Inside Out features the voices of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, and Lewis Black, among others. The story is told inside the mind of an 11 year old girl and explores the joys and challenges of her young life. Critics so far have been over the moon with one prominent writer proclaiming it’s the studio’s finest effort since 2009’s Up. Variety went as far to proclaim it as “the greatest idea” that Pixar has ever hatched. Strong words indeed.

The Up comparison is likely no accident as it shares the same director, Pete Docter. Up was the last Pixar product he directed and it is the only one of the bunch that received a Picture nomination. That bodes well for Inside Out if the fawning praise continues, which is probable.

Usually it is dramatic material and independent pictures that gather steam at Cannes. Today it was the studio that Mickey built gaining momentum.

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