Next summer, a new Disney/Pixar film will dig deep into existential questions, including how we define legacy and what it means to be remembered. Soul follows Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), a middle school music teacher who has long dreamed of performing jazz music on stage. When he finally gets his chance, an accident causes his soul to be separated from his body, which throws a wrench in his big break.
In the first Soul trailer, released Thursday, we see Joe impress his fellow musicians at the Half Note Club and get his first gig. We also see him fall through a manhole in the street as he excitedly calls his barber for an appointment so he can look good for his stage debut. When he wakes, his soul is at the “You Seminar,” a center where souls develop and gain passions before being transported to newborn children. Channeling his teaching skills into a new subject, Joe must work with the souls in training, including 22 (Tina Fey), whose view on life has been dimmed by her years spent trapped at the seminar.
The trailer provides a brief glimpse of Joe’s interactions with 22, whose lack of passion totally astounds him. The characters appear to be absolute opposites, which of course means that they’ll have plenty to learn from each other. We have yet to meet any of the other characters, but after all, this is only a teaser. Still, Soul seems to be most similar to Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out, which also tackled existential questions through characters’ inner selves.
Also starring Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir-Khalib Thompson, and John Ratzenberger (who continues his unbroken Pixar streak), Soul examines passion, goal-setting, livelihood, and more as Joe tries to get back to Earth before it’s too late.
Soul hits theaters June 19, 2020. Check out the first trailer and poster for the film below.