Pixar’s upcoming animated film is the story of a music teacher who aspires to be a jazz legend.
Soul, starring Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, portrays Foxx in the leading role of Joe Gardner, an NYC middle school band teacher. But he dreams of making it big in the jazz music scene. Then, one day, Joe has an accident, and his soul transports to You Seminar. There, he befriends 22 (Fey), another Casper-esque figure, who helps him understand the true meaning of life. The film also features artist Questlove, who plays a drummer.
Soul isn’t the first time Pixar has looked at the mystery of death and what comes after. Their 2017 film Coco explored the Mexican traditions of Dia de los Muertos, where 12-year-old Miguel discovers the colorful Land of the Dead and unlocks his family’s history. The hit film grossed $807 million, while Michael Giacchino’s soundtrack won Best Original Song for “Remember Me.”
Though the soundtrack has yet to be released, Soul will undoubtedly look to the music of New Orleans jazz the same way Coco explored Mexico’s diverse music history. We also know Jon Batiste has lent his music talents to this project. Familiar to many as bandleader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Batiste was nominated for a Grammy in 2018 for his cover of “St. James Infirmary Blues.”
Soul is set for a June 2020 release.