Another Way To Address The Most Painful Issues

Pixar has always been very interested in answering the great abstract questions that, in theory, do not have a simple answer: from analyzing the possible secret life of toys and insects, to a detailed tour of our feelings. The study has a special interest in reflecting on the intangible in a fun and above all fun way. Or that is the usual promise of several of his most beloved productions.

On this occasion, Soul will try to travel a thorny path that is one of Pixar's most ambitious projects – until now – to reflect on the concept of the human soul. It is a twist to the favorite themes of the animation house, but taken to a new dimension that borders on the mysterious, which is still a novelty and, also, a proposal interesting enough to intrigue. Will Pixar manage to show the complexity of a similar metaphysical concept and also achieve the level of emotionality, humor and ingenuity to which he has accustomed to his audience?

The most interesting thing about the whole project is that it will include a controversial theme and that is rarely played in animated productions intended, in principle, for children. Soul tells the story of a high school teacher and Jazz musician named Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx,), who dies just after getting the great opportunity of his life as a musician.


The turn takes you to an intermediate place of knowledge about life called Your Seminar – perhaps Pixar's version of a purgatory? – in which souls must complete an exhaustive training to better understand the way they lived? what comes next? The short breakthrough does not clarify much, but what is evident is that Pixar will try to make his story go through the perception of the transcendental in its brilliant way and, without doubt, full of an almost intimate conception.

Of course, Joe's good guy could not be alone in such an adventure: in his training seminar he bumps into 22, a pessimistic soul with the voice of Tina Fey who, apparently, has failed to overcome the most complicated and hard part of the journey Al Beyond and is confined in the dark space, which for now is the "Beyond" that the studio has wanted to show in the handful of scenes about its new film. In addition to this restless little voice, Soul also stars singer Questlove as a drummer in the late Joe's band; rapper Daveed Diggs as Paul, his neighborhood rival and Phylicia Rashād as his mother. A cast that ensures that the new production of Pixar, in addition, will have an important musical ingredient, even a little more pronounced than the rest of its productions.

The intangible as an argument

For Pixar, it will not be the first time in which he brings to the world of animated films themes that seem simple, but that encompass all kinds of nuances about human personality from a particular point of view. Pete Docter had already analyzed love, old age and loneliness in a felt but conventional way in the already classic Up. But it was with Inside Out when a strange combination was reached between a deep look on emotions and a felt story about relationships between parents and children, which made the film one of the box office and criticism phenomena. This earned them the Oscar for best film and screenplay in 2016.

With Soul, both Docter and Pixar, they could have the rare honor of showing the ambiguous and sometimes controversial issue of the human soul, from the very possibility of its existence, something that at first sight puts the script in a complicated place.

Can Soul mix concepts about the soul of religions and cultures to create a simple concept that can honor everyone? Or will it just show that of a specific religion or culture?

It is still too early to answer any of these questions: Soul will be released in summer 2020, after Onward, the other premiere of the study during the year that curiously will also touch (albeit tangentially) the issue of death and grief.

Is this the year in which Pixar will try to create a whole new concept on how to deepen painful and complicated issues through this medium as flexible as animation? It would not be the first time I do it.