Pixar has explored mortality in films like “Toy Story 4” and the afterlife in “Coco,” but their latest film “Soul” is an existential journey about what our spirits would do if they were separated from our bodies.
The first teaser trailer for “Soul” features Jamie Foxx as an aspiring jazz musician in New York City who suffers an accident and finds his soul drifting through an ethereal plane, asking the big questions in life.
“So what do you want to be remembered for,” Foxx’s little blue ball of a soul asks another voiced by Tina Fey. “Probably for … doing this funny cowboy dance?”
Pete Docter, the director of “Up,” “Monster’s Inc.,” and “Inside Out,” directs Pixar’s “Soul,” the second film intended to be released by the animation studio in 2020, with “Onward” arriving in March of next year. Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir Questlove Thompson and Daveed Diggs also provide voices for the film.
And “Soul” should be more musical than we might normally expect from Pixar. Jon Batiste wrote original jazz songs for the film, one of which scores this first teaser trailer. And Oscar winners Atticus Ross and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor composed the original score, specifically in providing the sound that connects between the human and soul worlds.
“I grew up with Peanuts cartoons and the Vince Guaraldi music,” Docter said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” producer Dana Murray added in a statement.
Docter says the film is now 23 years in the making, since the birth of his child.
“It started with my son — he’s 23 now — but the instant he was born, he already had a personality,” Docter said in a statement. “Where did that come from? I thought your personality developed through your interaction with the world. And yet, it was pretty clear that we’re all born with a very unique, specific sense of who we are.”
“Soul” opens in theaters on June 19, 2020. Watch the first trailer above.