Pixar Debuts First Look at Soul

Movies from Pixar Animation Studios will likely make you cry. That's just a fact of life at this point. Of course, some of the studio's films are more emotional and tear-jerking than others. Just try to get through Up, Coco, Inside Out, or Toy Story 3 without at least choking up. Unless you're the actual Terminator that's a pretty tall order. Whether you love it or hate it, Pixar movies have always been great at making us deal with our emotions, and it looks like one of the company's next films is gunning for our heartstrings.

Soul, which arrives in theaters next summer, is about a jazz musician named Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), who puts his dreams on hold in order to become a teacher. At the beginning of the movie, Joe suddenly dies and his soul is sent to a place called You Seminar, which is basically a celestial place where all souls are created. That's about as Pixar as Pixar gets, right?

On Wednesday, EW revealed the first photo from Soul, which pictures Joe prior to his death. Along with the new image, the site also shared some words from Soul director and Pixar studio head Pete Docter.

soul pixar first look
(Photo: Disney/Pixar)

“We talked to a lot of folks that represented religious traditions and cultural traditions and [asked], ‘What do you think a soul is?'” Docter said. “All of them said ‘vaporous’ and ‘ethereal’ and ‘non-physical.’ We were like, ‘Great! How do we do this?’ We’re used to toys, cars, things that are much more substantial and easily referenced. This was a huge challenge, but I gotta say, I think the team really put some cool stuff together that’s really indicative of those words but also relatable.”

Ultimately, it sounds like this movie is all about an artist trying to figure out their priorities, wondering what in life truly is the most important. As someone who has been creating art for decades, that point clearly resonates with Docter.

“I’ve been doing animation for 30 years,” he added. “I love it, I can’t get enough of it, and then I also recognize this is not the end-all, be-all of everything. There are children and life experiences and food and all these other things in the world that you can’t say are less important than animation. I would maybe have said that at certain times in my life.”

Doctor went on to explain that Soul is "an exploration of, where should your focus be? What are the things that, at the end of the day, are really going to be the important things that you look back on and go, ‘I spent a worthy amount of my limited time on Earth worrying or focused on that’?”

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Soul arrives in theaters on June 19. 2020.