As the Disney and Pixar film nears its debut on Disney+ December 25, a new Soul sneak peek is now available. In the movie, Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) is a middle-school band teacher who dreams of playing in the best jazz club in town.
Filmmakers found they could relate to the character’s passion for music. Director Pete Docter grew up in a musical family and plays the double bass.
“My folks are both teachers and both musicians,” says Docter. “There are three kids and we all became musicians. I think my mom enjoyed having the Von Trapp family; when people would come over, we’d have to perform. My two sisters stuck with it – one is a cellist with the Metropolitan Opera, and the other one is violist and a teacher.”
Co-director Kemp Powers, who used to be a music writer, played the alto saxophone in a jazz band during high school. His affinity for jazz plays a big role in his personal life. “My son’s name is Mingus,” said Powers.
“He’s named after Charles Mingus. A lot of us Gen Xers, particularly Black Gen Xers, fell in love with the bebop-era jazz artists – John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, of course Herbie Hancock. These guys were musical icons that –specifically in New York City — inform so much of the other big musical genre in the city, which is hip hop. The background tunes of my life are jazz and hip hop.”
“Life has so much to offer,” says Joe in the Soul sneak peek. “We only have a short time on this planet. Don’t miss out on the joys of life. Remember to enjoy every minute of it.”
Disney and Pixar’s Soul also features the voices of Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Donnell Rawlings, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Angela Bassett and Daveed Diggs. The film is directed by Docter, co-directed by Powers and produced by Dana Murray.
Walt Disney Records today also announced the pre-orders for the Soul Original Score vinyl album and Music From and Inspired by Soul vinyl album. The digital Soul Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and both vinyl albums are set for release on Dec. 18.
Soul is set in two distinct worlds, gritty New York City and the ethereal cosmic realms of The Great Before, which called for two styles of music that help shape and define each world.
Globally renowned musician and GRAMMY nominee Jon Batiste provided the original jazz compositions and arrangements for the film, and Oscar winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network), from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Nine Inch Nails, created an original score that will drift between the real and soul worlds.
The digital Soul Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features 42 score and jazz tracks; the Soul Original Score vinyl album by Reznor and Ross features 23 tracks (Side A 12 tracks / Side B 11 tracks); and Music From and Inspired By Soul vinyl album by Jon Batiste features 22 tracks (Side A 15 tracks / Side B 7 tracks), including Batiste’s cover of the Curtis Mayfield classic “It’s All Right.”
In the film, Joe is on the brink of getting his big break playing for a jazz quartet. But he finds himself on an unexpected detour from the streets of New York City to The Great Before, tasked with helping new soul 22 (Fey) find her spark to earn her way to Earth.
Rated PG, the Disney+ Soul release features jazz compositions & arrangements by globally renowned musician and GRAMMY nominee Jon Batiste, and an original score by Oscar-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network).