One of my favorite films to screen during the holidays is It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. Who doesn’t wonder at least once in a while what their world of friends, family, peers and constituents would like without their presence swirling about?
So, when Pixar offered a sneak peek at their new animated feature SOUL, I was curious for a variety a reasons besides the aforementioned circumstance. I knew that this was the first time the studio was using the genre of Jazz to inform the plot line, characters and overall theme of the film. At least that’s what I thought going in. The reality of the situation is that SOUL is more like a remake of the Don Knott’s sleeper hit “The Incredible Mr. Limpet” with his ‘Lady Fish’ being replaced by Jerry who takes Joe (Jaime Foxx) on his joinery through the great beyond.
Director Pete Doctor, explained in great detail, how he collaborated with jazz great Jonathan Baptiste and Howard University Alum/One Night In Miami Scribe Kemp Power alongside himself and Mike Jones to get details just right. One of my favs was a whole scene that takes place in a Black barbershop. These iconic salons are huge staples in the Black community where just about anything and everything goes down. I loved how in this 35 minute presentation we could see it all come to life via animation.
What about the color blue? Blue is a color associated with cool, which is the epitome of of where the Jazz genre live. More importantly, Joe finds out that all souls are given a number. What happens when your number is up or what goes down when it isn’t quite your time.?
Pixar goes through excruciatingly detailed expense to capture whatever reality they are engrossing the animated world in and SOUL is definitely no different. I simply can not wait for you all to see the brilliance I witnessed when it hits the ground running on Christmas Day 2020.