*Pixar’s new flick “Soul“ is the first animated feature from the studio with a Black lead.
The film tells the story of Joe Gardner ( voiced by Jamie Foxx) a musician and teacher, who suffers an unfortunate accident right before his big break.
We follow his past through “the great before,” where he picks up a mentor, 22 (voiced by Tina Fey) – who isn’t impressed with the possibility of going to earth.
The film also features Phylicia Rashad voicing Joe’s mother Libba Gardner, and Angela Basset as Jazz legend Dorothea Williams. EURweb’s Jill Munroe talked with the film’s leading ladies about mentorship, celebrating the small moments in this pandemic and the impact of being in the first Black-led Pixar film.
Here is Rashad on appearing in Pixar’s first Black-led animation film:
I tend to approach my work through the lens of artistry because I want the work to appeal to all of humanity. As I depict things that are very specific to my ethnicity, to my culture. I don’t have to get so muddled down in it. I don’t get cerebral about that. It just is. And I think the fact that it is, and the theme is so broad, it just touches humanity.
Amir “Questlove” Thompson voices “Curly,” one of Joe’s former students, who is now a member of Dorothea’s band. Quest described the process of creating Curly’s voice for the role.
You know what’s weird. This was the first time that an animator – I’ve done cartoon voiceovers before – but usually playing myself. They actually said, use your natural voice. Which I thought was weird. The day before, I was that total amateur in the bathroom trying to go through what my animated voice was going to be. They knew I was nervous and they said just be yourself.
This film is in our natural element and I think that’s what makes it relatable and authentic.
“Soul” drops exclusively on Disney+ Christmas day.