The minute-long teaser shows a typical day in the life of Joe, the main character voiced by Jamie Foxx, who is a middle school band teacher.
“Music is life. You just need to know where to look,” Joe says in the trailer. “Spend your precious hours doing what will bring out the real you — the brilliant, passionate you that’s ready to contribute something meaningful into this world. Get ready, your life is about to start.”
Joe dreams of being a jazz performer, but before his gets his big break, an unexpected accident causes his soul to be separated from his body. He’s then transported to the The Great Before, a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before going to Earth. There, he teams up with a fellow soul named 22 (voiced by Tina Fey). The pair works together to return Joe’s soul back to his body on Earth before it’s too late.
Filmmakers from “Soul,” including director Pete Docter, co-director and screenwriter Kemp Powers and producer Dana Murray, partnered with American anthropologist and educator Dr. Johnnetta Cole and globally-renowned jazz pianist Jon Batiste to offer this sneak peek at the film as a part of the Essence Festival of Culture during a virtual panel.
The trailer also features the song “Parting Ways,” which was written, produced and performed by Cody Chesnutt. Both Dr. Cole and Batiste, who lent his expertise to the jazz arrangements and compositions in “Soul,” served as cultural consultants on the film.
After having its original June release date delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, “Soul” will be released on Nov. 20.
Watch the teaser trailer below.