The Team Behind Soul Tells Us About the Culture and Future of Pixar

Much like the jazz in Soul is a collaborative artwork, so is making a film at Pixar.
Much like the jazz in Soul is a collaborative artwork, so is making a film at Pixar.
Image: Pixar

The thing Joe Gardner loves about jazz is how it’s always changing. Joe is the star of Soul, Pixar’s latest animated film being released on Disney+ on Christmas Day. After the best audition of his life, Joe (voiced by Jamie Foxx) is on top of the world. Until he dies. He then attempts to return his soul to his body and, in the process, save a few other lost souls.

Much as jazz is always changing, so too are Pixar movies. For example, Soul director Pete Docter didn’t always know his movie was going to be about jazz, and he didn’t know he was going to collaborate with Kemp Powers, who came onto the film as writer and eventually a co-director. Powers, who also wrote the play turned film One Night In Miami, was the new guy at Pixar during production on Soul and, in an exclusive interview with io9, he told us what it was like going from traditional screenwriter to making a movie with the popular animation company.

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Plus, since we were talking about working at Pixar, I also asked Docter, who happens to be not just the co-director of Soul but the company’s Chief Creative Officer, about what future Pixar films may hold. Watch both answers below, and thanks to Powers, Docter, and producer Dana Murray, for chatting with us.

I must say, the idea that Pixar is designed as such a collaborative place is very cool. A little intimidating, maybe. A little restrictive for sure (a personal garbage can would be nice) but still, it seems like it works. The proof is in the output.

As for those future Pixar movies, of course things could change with covid-19, but after Soul on December 25, there’s Luca on June 18, 2021, then untitled movies on March 11, 2022, June 17, 2022, and June 16, 2023. From the sound of it, those films will be just as innovative as Pixar’s last few films. We can’t wait to see them.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

adventurepig
AdventurePig

All you need to know about this movie is this:

Music composed by: Trent Reznor, Jon Batiste, Atticus Ross

Very excited to hear this movie’s music. Batiste is a musical genius, Reznor/Ross are too. This sounds like an amazing collaboration.