There’s much buzz surrounding Pixar’s upcoming animated film “Soul,” as it is the studio’s first feature with a Black lead.
Jamie Foxx stars in this heart-warming tale about the Great Beyond. The actor voices a jazz player who suddenly dies and his soul then attempts to make its way back to Earth to keep on living.
Here’s the official synopsis:
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.
“Honored to be the first ever African American lead in a Pixar film. 100 days away. I cannot wait for you all to see this beautiful story,” Foxx wrote on Twitter, sharing the new poster for the film (see below).
Directed by two-time Academy Award-winner Pete Docter, and co-directed by Kemp Powers, the idea for the story is 23 years in the making, per MovieWeb.
“It started with my son, he’s 23 now, but the instant he was born, he already had a personality,” said Docter. “Where did that come from? I thought your personality developed through your interaction with the world. And yet, it was pretty clear that we’re all born with a very unique, specific sense of who we are.”
The film is set in New York City, which itself serves as another character in the film, Powers said.
“I was born and raised in New York. This is the first time Pixar has gone to my hometown and I’ve been so impressed by the amount of energy that goes into making sure that everything is right. When the character’s in Queens, it looks like he’s in Queens. When he’s in Manhattan, it looks like he’s in Manhattan. It’s pretty incredible.”
When it comes to the music that also helps illustrate the story, Docter said: “I grew up with Peanuts cartoons and the Vince Guaraldi music. I feel like it’s coursing through my veins and this is our version of that. Jon Batiste is a fantastic musician, he’s a historian yet is able to push the music forward, bringing all these different influences to the work. I sincerely hope that the jazz music in ‘Soul‘ will inspire a whole new generation.”
“Soul” hits theaters on June 19. Scroll up and watch the newly released official trailer.