Earlier this year, at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, Walt Disney Studios revealed some details of one of two original films from Pixar Animation Studios set to premiere in 2020, Soul. More details are starting to unfold, and were recently shared with Entertainment Weekly.

What We Know:

  • Soul will Directed by Pete Docter (Up, Monsters Inc., Inside Out), the current head of Pixar Animation Studios
  • Jamie Foxx provides the voice of Jazz musician, Joe Gardner, a middle school teacher who lives in New York City and has dreamed of playing at a famous Jazz club. On the way to the performance Joe accidentally dies and finds his soul at the You Seminar, a place where souls are made and given personalities and then sent back to Earth assigned to a human body.
  • One of these Souls, 22, (voiced by Tina Fey) hates humans and avoids going to Earth. Eventually, Joe and 22 team up to get Joe’s soul back into his human body back on Earth on a journey through the cosmic realms.
  • Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rashad, and Questlove also provide voices in the feature film.
  • A movie about a musician is bound to have a great soundtrack, and we will be able to hear compositions from Jon Batiste, Atticus Ross, and Trent Reznor.
  • Producer Dana Murray immediately pointed out some similarities between Soul and 2015’s Inside Out, saying “Like Inside Out, we’re taking you to a world where no one’s ever been — well, for a long time,” with one of the writers /co-director Kemp Powers adding that “We went in a completely different direction than any of the other films that Pete’s done,” he says. “It’s hard to contain our enthusiasm over how much people are going to be surprised by what they see.”
  • Soul arrives in theaters on June 19, 2020.

What They’re Saying:

  • Pete Docter, Director of Soul:  “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…I’ve been doing animation for 30 years. I love it, I can’t get enough of it, and then I also recognize this is not the end-all, be-all of everything. There are children and life experiences and food and all these other things in the world that you can’t say are less important than animation. I would maybe have said that at certain times in my life. [Soul] is an exploration of, where should your focus be? What are the things that, at the end of the day, are really going to be the important things that you look back on and go, ‘I spent a worthy amount of my limited time on Earth worrying or focused on that’?
  • Kemp Powers, Co-Director of Soul: “Every musician knows the phrase “suffer for one’s art. It’s what we often think of as “the artist’s journey. For anyone who has a profession in the creative arts, it’s an almost religious obsessiveness you have to have to have success and a career in the arts. At any point, no matter how happy you are doing what you do, it feels like that obsessiveness is detrimental to the rest of your life. [Joe] is someone who’s lived his whole life like he was meant to do this one thing [music] to the exclusion of pretty every other thing.”