Pixar is famous for making kids’ movies that have a strong appeal for adults, not just emotionally but even philosophically. Well, Soul may be their first offering to be target squarely at the parents.
Going a step further than even The Incredibles did (which involved a family), Soul follows the existential afterlife struggle of Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a middle school band teacher by day and jazz pianist by night whose artistic ambitions remain unfulfilled.
This decidedly grown-up premise goes a mature step further when Joe…dies. On the other side he meets 22 (voiced by Tina Fey), a soul that guides him to his new purpose: to share what he learned — the good, the bad, and the regrets — with other souls that are waiting for their first shot at real world consciousness.
That all sounds pretty heavy (and no doubt it is), but it comes from Pete Docter, the writer/director of Inside Out, a previous Pixar masterpiece that powerfully captured and wrestled with deep emotional truths in a profound way that was accessible to people of all ages. With that as a track record — and this debut trailer (above) — I’m hopeful that Soul will do the same.
Infused by an original score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, along with new jazz music by Stephen Colbert’s band leader Jon Batiste, this also co-stars the voices of Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, and Daveed Diggs.
Soul opens next summer on June 19, 2020.
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