(AllHipHop News) The list of Disney/Pixar movies reads like a rollcall of the most celebrated family films of the last three decades. Titles such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, WALL-E, and Coco have entertained audiences of all ages.
Next year moviegoers will be introduced to jazz-loving middle school band teacher Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) in Disney/Pixar's Soul. The computer-animated motion picture was directed by two-time Oscar-winner Pete Docter (Up, Inside Out) and co-directed by Kemp Powers.
“I think Joe is having that crisis that all artists have," explains Powers. “He’s increasingly feeling like his lifelong dream of being a jazz musician is not going to pan out and he’s asking himself, ‘Why am I here? What am I meant to be doing?’ Joe personifies those questions.”
Acclaimed musician Jon Batiste is writing original music for the film. Academy Award winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network) are creating an original score. Set in one of the jazz capitals of the world, Soul will incorporate elements of New York City into its visual and musical aesthetic.
“I was born and raised in New York,” says Powers. “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.”
He adds, “The contrast that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross bring is really exciting. It’s an unexpected choice for Pixar—this is like nothing we’ve ever done before.” Minnesota-bred Pete Docter also discussed how his upbringing inspired Soul. Plus, he praised Batiste's contribution to the movie.
“I grew up with Peanuts cartoons and the Vince Guaraldi music,” states Docter. “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 also features the voices of Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson Tina Fey, and Daveed Diggs. The movie is scheduled for release on June 19, 2020, via Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures.