My recent trip to Pixar was not only exciting, it was also inspirational. The studio keeps coming up with innovative ways to tell these stories in bold new ways. One of those films will be Soul, from director and new Chief Creative Officer at Pixar Animation Studios Pete Docter.
Docter was on hand to present a little bit about the film to a full house on Saturday at the D23 Expo. And based on what he was able to share, this will be one of Pixar’s most cerebral films to date. See more below for our on-site coverage from D23.
The film journeys from the streets of New York City to the never-before-seen cosmic realms of the “You Seminar,” the fantastical place where we all discover our unique personalities. Producer Dana Murray, co-director/writer Kemp Powers, and writer Mike Jones joined Docter on stage. Together, they all shared a clip from the film that introduced us to our lead character Joe Garner, an aspiring Jazz musician whose life has not gone the way he expected. A middle school music teacher, he often moonlights as a jazz pianist playing at local clubs, with dreams of playing at Half Note, one the most prestigious jazz clubs in NYC.
We see how passionate he is about jazz as he auditions to be a part of a band that will play at Half Note. The camera focuses on him and only him. It looks as though he is getting lost in the music. Soon enough, it is revealed that he has impressed his fellow bandmates. Excited, he is oblivious to everything that is going on around him, including things that threaten his life, like falling bricks and oncoming cars. He manages to dodge all of that, but walks onto a manhole where he falls to his death.
There he finds himself back in the You Seminar, the place where your personality is born. He meets 22, a cynical soul. And Joe needs to travel back to the real world, so he travels across the cosmos to learn what it takes to have a real soul.
With such an exciting premise, how can Soul get any better? Well, Pixar will have Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson as Curly, with Phylicia Rashad voicing Joe’s mother, while Daveed Diggs will voice Paul, Joe’s nemesis. And voicing Joe will be Jamie Foxx, while Tina Fey will voice 22.
And to top it all off, Jon Batiste will create the jazz music for Soul, while Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross will score the film that will drift between the real and soul worlds.
Below are also two additional images from the film.
Soul opens in theaters on June 19, 2020.
You can click here for much more out of D23 Expo 2019!