Despite the bittersweet news that Pixar’s ‘Soul‘ would be debuting on Disney+, it looks like Pete Docter’s latest existential film about the human existence will be beautiful. That is if we are to believe the early reviews that are coming out. And to be sure that everyone is ready for the animated film’s debut this holiday season, Disney has released a new trailer.
Like many of the Pixar films that came before Soul, the core of everything that represents the animation studio is its story that resonates with its audience. The story is particularly relatable to the artists behind it. For Jamie Foxx, who lends his voice to Joe, it begins with jazz. “Like Joe, I hear music in everything,” said Foxx. “When you’re a jazz artist, man, you talk a little different: ‘Hey, cat!’ I got a chance to go to a few jazz fests and meet Herbie Hancock, Chick Correa—hang out with those guys. They have a way of talking, a way of dressing—everything funnels toward their music, toward the jazz.”
Docter, who had conceived the character of Joe before jazz became an intrical part of the story, said, “I’ve been so lucky to work with some incredible people and make movies that have been seen around the world. But I realized that as wonderful as these projects are, there’s more to living than a singular passion—as expressive and fulfilling as that may be. Sometimes the small insignificant things are what it’s really about. This film is about broadening the idea of a singular focus to thinking more widely about what life has to offer and what we have to offer life.”
Likewise, co-director Kemp Powers, who initially joined the project as a writer, didn’t have to look far to find inspiration for Joe Gardner. “We’ve been working on ‘Soul’ for years, but the film feels timelier now than we ever could have imagined back when we began,” said Powers. “In a year where everything we know has been turned upside down, we’ve all been forced to find new meaning both in the relationships we have and the small moments that truly make life worth living.”
‘Soul’ is probably one of my most anticipated films of the year. Looking at some of the early preview coverage, along with reading reviews from those who saw the film at the BFI London Film Festival has only increased by excitement and anticipation to see this. While I am saddened that I won’t be able to get to see Soul on the big screen – it means a lot for representation on screen – it is great to see that Disney will be sharing such a humorous and heartwarming story with families in the comfort and safety of their homes during an ongoing pandemic.
Not only that, but we will get to hear a musically winning combination of original jazz compositions & arrangements by globally renowned musician and GRAMMY® nominee Jon Batiste, and an original score by Oscar®-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (‘The Social Network’). It doesn’t get any better than that.
Here’s the official plot synopsis for’ Soul:’
What is it that makes you…YOU? This November, Pixar Animation Studios’ all-new feature film “Soul” introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) – a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions. Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Inside Out,” “Up”), co-directed by Kemp Powers (“One Night in Miami”) and produced by Academy Award nominee Dana Murray, p.g.a. (Pixar short “Lou”).
Soul also features the voices of Graham Norton (The Graham Norton Show’) as the spiritual sign twirler Moonwind; Rachel House (‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople,’ ‘Thor: Ragnaraok’) as the count-obsessed Terry, and Alice Braga (‘The New Mutants’), Richard Ayoade (‘The Mandalorian’), Wes Studi (‘Woke,’ ‘The Last of the Mohicans’), Fortune Feimster (‘Bless the Harts’) and Zenobia Shroff (‘The Affair’) as the voices of the Counselors. Comedian Donnell Rawlings voices Joe’s barber Dez, and June Squibb (‘Nebraska’) provides the voice of Gerel. They join Foxx, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Angela Bassett and Daveed Diggs.
Disney will release Soul exclusively on Disney+ this December 25. International markets where Disney+ isn’t currently or soon to be available, “Soul” will be released theatrically, with dates to be announced.