Well, with everything going on so far in 2020, Pixar is here to cheer us all up with a new trailer for their upcoming movie Soul, a charming animated adventure that explores...the afterlife. Oh, dear. Anyway, slightly inappropriate timing aside, Soul looks like another excellent offering from the studio that truly leads the way in terms of captivating, soul-full animated movies.
Soul follows Joe Gardner, 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.
The movie features the voices of Jamie Foxx as Joe Gardner, with Tina Fey as the trapped soul with a dim view of life, 22. Alongside them stars Phylicia Rashad, Angela Bassett, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, and Daveed Diggs. Soul is directed by Academy Award winner Pete Docter who previously brought us Inside Out and Up, and is being co-directed by One Night in Miami's Kemp Powers with Academy Award nominee Dana Murray producing.
Murray previously brought us the Pixar short Lou. Globally renowned musician Jon Batiste will be writing original jazz music for the film, and Oscar-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from Nine Inch Nails will compose an original score that will drift between the real and soul worlds.
Following the first Soul trailer, this new footage gives us a more detailed look into the backstage inner workings of what happens to souls both after they die, and before they are born, as well as the high stakes involved in Joe Gardner's dramatic quest to get back to the land of the living. It also suggests that, due to the main character's passion for jazz, music will play an integral part in the story. Soul is the studio's second original offering of 2020, following this month's contemporary fantasy tale Onward, and promises to be the kind of laugh-inducing, tear-jerking escapade that one would expect from Disney and Pixar Studios.
Director Pete Docter has previously spoken about the challenges of animating a "soul" whilst trying to remain sensitive to how that depiction might affect people of various different faiths.
"We talked to a lot of folks that represented religious traditions and cultural traditions and [asked], 'What do you think a soul is? All of them said 'vaporous' and 'ethereal' and 'non-physical.' We were like, 'Great! How do we do this?' We're used to toys, cars, things that are much more substantial and easily referenced. This was a huge challenge, but I gotta say, I think the team really put some cool stuff together that's really indicative of those words but also relatable."
From this trailer, it looks like they have done a wonderful job of bringing the afterlife to the big screen in a way that only Pixar could. Soul comes to theaters on June 19, 2020. This comes to us courtesy of official Pixar Youtube channel.