Soul (film)

Soul (film) Animated feature from Pixar Animation Studios. Joe Gardner is a middle school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before—a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks, and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22, who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions. Directed by Pete Docter. Originally planned for theatrical release, it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was instead released digitally December 25, 2020, on Disney+, following an October 11 premiere at the London Film Festival and other international releases. It later had a run at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, March 29–April 1, 2021. Voices include Jamie Foxx (Joe), Tina Fey (22), Phylicia Rashad (Libba Gardner), Graham Norton (Moonwind), Rachel House (Terry), Alice Braga (Counselor Jerry), Richard Ayoade (Counselor Jerry), Donnell Rawlings (Dez), Angela Bassett (Dorothea Williams), Wes Studi (Counselor), Fortune Feimster (Counselor), Zenobia Shroff (Counselor), June Squibb (Gerol), with talent from the music world, including Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Curley), Daveed Diggs (Paul). 100 min. Features original jazz compositions by Jon Batiste, with a score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross that drifts between the real and soul worlds. For authentic piano playing, multiple camera setups captured footage of Batiste’s fingers on the keys; new technology was used, which lit up piano keys on a rig, allowing animators to accurately place Joe’s fingers. Filmmakers took special care to ensure different skin types were authentically depicted, also rendering an array of black hair with a variety of textures and colors. To showcase the vast expanse of The Great Before, the film uses the cinematic 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Pixar technology also had to be modified to give the ethereal realm its soft look, such as giving grass a feather-like quality, versus the highly realistic grass-blades used in other Pixar films. Nominated for 3 Academy Awards, winning for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score.