brian-mcgee - November 11, 2019
If there's one filmmaker at Pixar who has earned an unquestioned benefit of the doubt, it's Pete Docter. One of the original founding members of Pixar Animation, Docter has turned seemingly impossible, un-cinematic ideas into rip-roaring adventures that touch the heart and soul. The notion of a monster in your closet became Monsters, Inc., a geriatric man becomes an action hero in Up, while the complicated world of emotions within a pre-teen girl was beautifully illustrated in Inside Out.
Now Docter wants to explore the notion of what makes us who we are with Soul. It's another premise that doesn't seem to lend itself to a children's film, but I trust that whatever Docter's working on is going to be eloquent and unlike anything we've seen before. The film centers around a middle aged man, voiced by Jamie Foxx, who is on the verge of giving up on his dream of becoming a professional jazz musician when he gets the opportunity of a lifetime. Unfortunately, he dies right before his big night and it's up to his now displaced soul to attempt to fulfill his dream, with the help of another rather ditzy soul voiced by Tina Fey.
It's a doozy of a setup for a film ostensibly aimed at children, but Pixar at its best has a way of distilling very complex, grown up notions into easily digestible stories with which audiences of all ages can engage. I wouldn't be surprised if this looks like a single, but it's actually a home run. Soul comes to theaters in North America on June 19, 2020.
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