Video: Pete Docter, Kemp Powers and Dana Murray on their PGA Award-Winning Animated Film, Soul | Interviews

Jamie Foxx voices the film’s protagonist, Joe, a frustrated teacher and aspiring blues pianist who takes his first big break, only to fall into a manhole. With his soul detached from his body, Joe struggles desperately to return to Earth, while being accompanied by a soul nicknamed “22” (voiced by Tina Fey) who has no appetite for life. Our editor, Matt Zoller Seitz, hailed the film as “a sympathetic and cowardly take on life, death, fate and choice, with an original perspective,” while our assistant editor Nell Minow previously interviewed Docter and Murray about the richly detailed urban canvas and surreal whimsy of their ambitious image, which was recently nominated for three Academy Awards (Best Animated Feature, Best Original Music, and Best Sound).

After asking the question of whether death is now the new frontier, I asked Pete Docter how he could have had an existential crisis after the phenomenal success of “Inside Out” and how that angst led to the development of ” Drunk”. He replied that “Inside Out” was way beyond anything he could dream of in terms of success by any definition, but he just didn’t feel like his life was over. Docter asked during our conversation. “Why does it always seem unstable? I just started to think about what we’re supposed to do. What are we born with? What do we have the ability to adapt to while we’re here? Is it a thing or not? So all of those ingredients went into the stew of this movie, and then we just started looking for ways to tell this story to kind of get to that idea at the core. of it. “

Producer Dana Murray said, “Pete always starts with these crazy big ideas that we all think about, and it’s fun to understand how we could actually visualize them. We always start from a place of research, so developing, we started bringing in all kinds of people from religious experts and shamans to physicists and psychotherapists to start dissecting these conversations. We always have in mind that we make movies for the whole family, from 2 at 90, but it starts with a more selfish place of the kind of movie we would like to watch. We ask the whole team to bring their kids in for a screening to see if they like and understand the movie, and they do. always do. “

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