Everyone has a soul. It is something that gives them their personality and defines who they are as a person. And Pixar’s Soul looks to a visually stunning animated feature that asks big existential questions like why are we here and what our purpose in life is supposed to be? While there are no definitive answers, the upcoming film will offer us some that are honest and humorous.
Soul will feature the voice talents of Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, both of whom are comedically talented in their own right. In it, Foxx plays Joe Gardner (Foxx), a middle school jazz music teacher who finally gets his big break when a club offers him a spot in their band. However, one misstep takes him to a play where souls originate and get their personalities. That’s where he meets a soul named 22 (Fey), who believes that life on Earth isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
Here’s the official premise for Soul:
“Joe Gardner is 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, 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.”
Docter is no stranger to asking these existential in films. We’ve seen it in Inside Out, where he asked about what exactly goes inside a person’s head, and how that influences our interaction with others. The Pixar veteran, who is one of the founding members of the animation studio, has directed several films like Monsters, Inc., Up, and Inside Out. But Soul will be his first as Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios.
As much as I liked this year’s Onward, Soul looks to be bold and fresh. Visually, The Great Before like something that is straight out of a 2001: A Space Odyssey, and other aspects of it looks like it was inspired by films like Interstellar. The jazz music is just a nice added bonus to it.
Soul also features the voices of Questlove, Phylicia Rashad, and Daveed Diggs. The film will also have some major musical talents. Oscar Winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network) will compose film’s score, while Jon Batiste, the bandleader and musical director on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, will be writing jazz songs for the film.
Soul opens in theaters on June 19, 2020.