Soul is Pixar’s 23rd movie and tells the story of middle-school teacher Joe, who finally gets a long-dreamed-for jazz gig, only for an accident to transport him out of his body. Finding himself at a centre known as the ‘You Seminar’, Joe becomes a mentor to souls in training. Can he ‘work’ his way back to his Earth body before it’s too late?
Joe is voiced by actor/singer/comedian/presenter Jamie Foxx, who’s probably best known for his roles in Django Unchained, Ray, White House Down and Collateral. Joining Foxx on vocal duties is Saturday Night Live alumni Tina Fey as 22, a life-weary soul trapped in the You Seminar.
In addition to voicing 22, Fey also contributed to the Soul screenplay. She’s definitely got form in that department. Her previous writing credits include the classic teen movie Mean Girls and TV’s 30 Rock, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
In seeking inspiration for how to animate the movie’s many souls, the Pixar animation team drew from varied cultures and religions.
Pixar made Joe a musician because they felt it was a “profession the audience could root for”. Their first instinct was to make him a scientist but a musician just felt more “naturally pure”.
What tone to expect. We usually know what we’re getting with a Pixar movie, but Soul producer Dana Murray has described the film as “completely different”. We’re definitely not complaining, though. In an era of prequels, sequels, and adaptations, an entirely novel concept is music to the ears.
Disney Pixar has four untitled movies scheduled for release between 2021 and 2023.
Rumour has it that we should expect at least one sequel (or threequel) among these new releases, maybe more. Personally, we’re rooting for Inside Out 2.
One thing we definitely won’t be getting is a live-action Toy Story movie. Pixar made that vow in May last year.
Don’t rule out Toy Story 5, though, especially with the fourth chapter picking up the Best Animated Feature Oscar at the Academy Awards earlier this year, equalling the feat of Toy Story 3.
Pixar is one of the Mouse House’s hottest commodities, so it pays for them to keep schtum until the timing is absolutely right. All we really have at the moment are those four nailed-on release dates, but we’ll keep you posted as and when Pixar news or substantial rumours break. Pinky promise!