Soul interview

Soul marks another step forward for Pixar into fascinating narrative storytelling that is not only meant for young children. In fact, this may be the least kid-centric movie they’ve made in quite some time.

Don’t get me wrong – the movie is very good and has plenty of the typical Pixar qualities we’ve come to expect from that studio. But a film about a middle school band teacher who finally gets his big break in music, only to quickly fall into a manhole and be whisked away to another plane of existence to learn how souls work? That’s pretty damn ambitious, and it’s yet another example of how the studio often pushes beyond the most basic version of a story when one of their films is making its way through Pixar’s rigorous process of building, breaking down, and rebuilding a movie to get it right.

A few weeks ago, we spoke with Pete Docter (director/story and screenplay by), Kemp Powers (co-director/story and screenplay by), and Dana Murray (producer) about the clash between creativity and pragmatism, Soul‘s excellent score, and the thought process behind a plot decision which temporarily sidelines the studio’s first lead Black character – a decision which I suspect will generate a lot of discussion in the days ahead. Read More »

Ryan Coogler Soul

If you pay close attention during the closing credits of Pixar’s Soul, you’ll spot one name that may come as something of a surprise: Ryan Coogler. The director of Black Panther and Creed was never announced as part of the creative team for this film, so what did he do to earn a “special thanks” credit in Pixar’s newest movie? We spoke with the filmmakers behind the movie and asked them that very question, and they explained the Ryan Coogler Soul connection. Learn the answer below. Read More »

Pixar's Soul Interview

Pete Docter is the chief creative officer of Pixar Animation, so he already has his hands full. Combine that with the fact that he’s directing the animation studio’s latest movie Soul, and he’s one of the busiest people in Hollywood. But thankfully, he had co-director/writer Kemp Powers, and producer Dana Murray to help him out, not to mention all the talented people at Pixar making his job a little easier.

/Film was lucky enough to be invited to speak with all three of these filmmakers to talk about the process of making Soul, including the challenges of creating a world that they couldn’t really research, some of the different story iterations that evolved throughout the development process, and a small update on the forthcoming Monsters Inc. animated series Monsters at Work that will be coming to Disney+. This interview is spoiler-free, so you can read before you’ve seen Soul and not have to worry about ruining the movie for yourself. Read More »

Soul

Pixar’s Soul is no longer coming to theaters in the United States. Instead, the movie is being released through Disney+ on Christmas Day. This is a real shame, because the journey that middle school band teacher and aspiring jazz musician Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) takes from New York City to the ethereal plane of The Great Before is full of mesmerizing and stunning animation, some of which takes Pixar in surprising new directions. And it wasn’t easy to pull off either.

Director Pete Docter, co-director/writer Kemp Powers, and the entire Pixar team were tasked with creating this world where new souls get their personalities, quirks, and interests before they go to Earth. It not only required endless imagination, but technical innovation, not to mention a stark contrast to the incredibly life-like environments of the real world. And the real world presented its own challenges too, especially when it came to animating Joe Gardner’s passion for music, which includes some meticulous, fast-paced piano-playing and other instrumental excitement.

So how did they do it? Back in September, /Film was invited to partake in some virtual presentations from the filmmakers to learn about some of the amazing work Pixar put into this movie. So let’s take a closer look at the making of Pixar’s Soul. Read More »

Soul logo

Pixar has made some serious money with its sequels lately – Finding Dory was a box office smash, The Incredibles 2 had the biggest opening weekend of any animated movie ever, and Toy Story 4 is poised to beat that record – but the studio has two original films in a row coming out next year. We’ve already seen a teaser trailer for the first one, which is an elf story called Onward that stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt.

Now we know a bit more about the second one. It’s called Soul, and it arrives in theaters one year from today. Check out the official synopsis below.
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Pixar short Lou

It’s not like Pixar needs to try that hard to convince people to go and see their features, but it’s always nice when they sweeten the deal with an accompanying short film. A few months ago we got our first little peek at Lou, the new six-minute short directed by Dave Mullins and Dana Murray. Today we’re getting even closer with the mysterious monster of the title, who’ll make his way to theaters ahead of Cars 3.

Feast your eyes on a Lou first look photo below, and get many more details about what exactly this movie is.
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