Brow Beat

The First Trailer for Pixar’s Soul Reveals Yet Another Charming Kids Movie About Death

Good news for fans of thorny metaphysical questions tucked into adorable packages: There’s a new Pixar movie coming next June. Soul, to judge from its brand-new teaser trailer, tells the story of a New York middle school music teacher, Joe Gardner, whose jazz performing ambitions are dashed when he passes away (spoiler!) under the exact same circumstances that Mel Brooks has told us register as comedy and not tragedy. In the afterlife, Joe (voiced by Jamie Foxx), well, he gets stuck teaching again.

But—as everything from the lovingly crafted jazz tracks by The Late Show’s Jon Batiste to the film’s cozy CGI diorama of New York would suggest—there will be a lot of growth, and laughs, and (obviously) soul to these macabre struggles. Soul is co-written and directed by Pete Docter, who was also behind Up and Inside Out, suggesting strongly that Pixar’s filmmaker model has found a voice with a very coherent set of thematic preoccupations. Between Pixar’s upcoming film Onward, and its last original feature Coco, Soul joins a new moody streak of Pixar projects morbidly fixated on death. Everyone at Pixar’s Emeryville offices is smoking cloves now.