‘Soul’, La Magia De Animar Lo Invisible

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Soul’s premiere won’t be on the big screen; however, that in no way detracts from the beautiful story of Joe Garner, a passionate music teacher, who dies just before fulfilling his dream of playing in a jazz club. What happens next is their journey around the world, where the souls have yet to be paired with somebody and the questions about who they are really fascinating. 

As it is usually with Pixar, and this time we could argue that even more, the story and aesthetics work for both children and adults. And although the word “soul” means soul, it also refers to the spirit of life that we have. And of course, it talks about music as well, not only about the genre it is but referring to the heart and emotional depth it has. But how do you capture that in Joe’s story? M2 caught up with Pete Docter (PD), director of hits like Up and Monsters Inc., and producer Dana Murray (DM) to bring even more light to this Christmas premiere. 

After five years of working on something with so much heart and yes, soul, how does it feel to talk about it?

P.S. It’s kind of a relief, don’t you think? 

DM. It’s a relief because we are always inside our computers, our little spaces and now we are excited that the movie is out; we were ready from June, then November and now that we are finally here, it feels great.

My feeling is that the movie is about finding the meaning of life. 

P.S. Yes Yes. That is in a way the way we put it together. From the beginning, we asked ourselves: “What am I getting up for this morning? Why am I doing what I am doing? ˝. Beyond just eating and sleeping, you want to feel like you’re accomplishing something in the time you’re here. And the film seeks to get into those big questions so that even the little ones enjoy it a lot too, but you’re right: there is carnitas at the center of everything. 

Creating the animation of something like the soul is not just anything. You have talked about how challenges are becoming increasingly difficult. How does it feel to finally achieve it? 

DM. It’s very funny, because until it comes out you know if you really captured it; It is very nice to know that people are moved because I think that when you have worked so long and so hard on something and you are so in it, it is very difficult to take a step back to see it. 

P.S. Yes, it is like building a building in which you know every corner and you are worried because in the end you can only say things like, “That table is crooked˝, but you can no longer see the whole building, as someone would when they first approach time.

So Pete, over the years, when you revisit something you did before, does it give you a new perspective? 

P.S. Yes, I saw Up for the first time about a year and a half ago, I haven’t seen it since it came out. And I think there were parts where I still remembered: that was a mistake, and what the person told me when I asked him to change it. But I could see it with a little objectivity and it was quite funny. I saw it with other people and that always helps. 

I loved the title, and of course in English it has a double meaning, the spiritual and the musical. In music, I was excited to see talents like Jon Batiste and Daveed Diggs ( Hamilton ). What was the process of bringing those talents together? 

DM. We felt deeply fortunate because we said: “It would be brutal if such a person made this music” The talent in this film, speaking of Jon Batiste, is not only as a musician but as a human being; brings so much soul to this movie. 

I have always been impressed with how they paint with light. Colors and light are great technologies here, how to create this process, more emotionally than technically? 

P.S. Good thing you felt it, that it worked. Yes, we are trying to be inspired by the contrast between the physical world, which in our film are very rich colors, with a lot of brown, gray and more neutral; in the world of the soul we seek it to be much purer, almost even with mathematical structures, with saturated colors. It was a lot of fun to play with it and make the audience understand that this is not on earth, it is somewhere else you’ve never been. Or maybe you did, but you don’t remember. 

DIRECTOR

He has directed films such as Up and Intensely, for which he won the Oscars for Best Animated Film in 2009 and 2015, respectively. 

DANA MURRAY

PRODUCER AND ENTERTAINER

He is known for producing the short Lou, for which he was nominated for an Oscar, and has participated in films such as Up and Valiente. 

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