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Pixar's 'Soul' explores the metaphysical realm in brand new trailer

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Joe finds himself in The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. (© 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.)

Disney-Pixar has shared the official trailer for Soul, the new animated film from Inside Out and Up director Pete Docter, and it’s quite a trip.

The plot for the CGI-animation has been shrouded in mystery, but this new trailer reveals that the film is set to explore The Great Before, a metaphysical realm where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests, before they go to Earth and live out their lives as a human.

It stars Jamie Foxx as Joe Gardiner, a school teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. However, a freak accident leaves Joe’s soul trapped in The Great Before where he begins a desperate quest to return to his body and fulfil his dream.

Watch the new trailer below.

Tina Fey voices 22, a precocious soul, that Joe has to show what’s great about living.

Read more: All the Pixar films coming to Disney+ UK

Featuring the voices of Foxx, Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Angela Bassett, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, and Daveed Diggs, Soul is directed by Academy Award winner Pete Docter, co-directed by Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami) and produced by Academy Award nominee Dana Murray (Pixar short Lou).

Joe Gardner is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasnt quite gone the way he expected. (© 2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.)

Co-director Kemp Powers told EW that the movie has gone in a “completely different direction” to Docter’s previous work for Pixar.

He said: “It’s hard to contain our enthusiasm over how much people are going to be surprised by what they see.”

Gardner gets the chance of a lifetime to play the piano in a jazz quartet headed by the great Dorothea Williams. (© 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved. )

“We talked to a lot of folks that represented religious traditions and cultural traditions and [asked], ‘What do you think a soul is?'” said Docter. “All of them said ‘vaporous’ and ‘ethereal’ and ‘non-physical.’ We were like, ‘Great! How do we do this?’

“We’re used to toys, cars, things that are much more substantial and easily referenced. This was a huge challenge, but I gotta say, I think the team really put some cool stuff together that’s really indicative of those words but also relatable.”

When he gets lost in his music, he goes into "the zone" - an immersive state that causes the rest of the world to literally melt away. (© 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.)

Renowned musician Jon Batiste will be writing original jazz music for the film, and Oscar-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network), from Nine Inch Nails, will compose an original score that will drift between the real and soul worlds. 

Soul hits cinemas on 19 June, 2020. Watch the first trailer below.