The latest movie from Pixar’s chief creative officer Pete Docter looks to be a companion piece to his Oscar-winning film, Inside Out. In Soul, a middle-school music teacher Joe Gardner, played by Jamie Foxx, dreams of becoming a jazz pianist for a band, and after landing his first gig, he excitedly walks on down a retro-looking New York street and falls into a manhole to another world, where he meets 22, played by Tina Fey.
Docter, who’s also responsible for films such as Up, and Monsters, Inc. has never shied away from examining his own personal fears through his movies. Here, in Soul, he tackles the self-absorbed artist in Gardner, who must learn to embrace a full range of experiences, wonders, and responsibilities through his cosmic journey with 22.
In a statement, Docter spoke on the inspiration behind Soul.
“It started with my son—he’s 23 now—but the instant he was born, he already had a personality,” Docter said. “Where did that come from? I thought your personality developed through your interaction with the world. And yet, it was pretty clear that we’re all born with a very unique, specific sense of who we are.”
“He’s increasingly feeling like his lifelong dream of being a jazz musician is not going to pan out and he’s asking himself ‘Why am I here? What am I meant to be doing?’ Joe personifies those questions,” Docter continued.