Pixar Reveals 'Soul' Voice Cast, 8 Minutes of 'Onward' at D23

'Soul's' music will be created by Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
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'Onward'

Pixar's two-time Oscar-winning director Pete Docter on Saturday revealed the voice cast and story for his next animated feature, Soul, during its D23 Expo presentation in Anaheim.

The story, which tackles the question "Why am I here?," follows Joe, a middle-school band teacher who loves to play jazz. He dreams of playing at New York's Half Note jazz club, and then, as he gets a lucky break, he finds himself at the fantastical "You Seminar" where "you" get your traits, and he has to find his way back to Earth.

Joe will be voiced by Jamie Foxx. Tina Fey plays 22, a soul-in-training that Joe meets at the "You Seminar." The voice cast also includes Questlove, Phylicia Rashad as Joe's mother and Hamilton's Daveed Diggs as Joe's nemesis, Paul. The cast joined Docter onstage, along with co-director/writer Kemp Powers, writer Mike Jones and producer Dana Murray.

Music will play a big role in the film, and Soul will include original jazz music from Jon Batiste and a score by Oscar winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network). It is set to open June 19, 2020.

Docter, who won Oscars for Up and Inside Out, was named Pixar's chief creative officer in the spring of 2018, after the studio parted ways with John Lasseter. This is his first D23 to make opening remarks on behalf of Pixar. In those remarks, he commented on his start at the studio, working on Toy Story, but didn't mention Lasseter.

The studio also unspooled an eight-minute clip from Onward, which is set to bow March 6, 2020. The film follows two brothers — an overconfident elder brother (voiced by Chris Pratt) and shy younger brother (Tom Holland) — who reside in a suburban fantasy world where they use some magic and embark on a quest to meet their late father. It is written and directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, who previously teamed on Monsters University.

Explained Scanlon, "It's based on my experience growing up. My brother and I lost our father at a young age, and I've always wondered who my Dad was and how I would like him. Those questions became the roadmap for this film."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus voices the mother, and on the quest, they meet a magical character, voiced by Octavia Spencer.

Another pair of siblings — Academy Award winner Mychael Danna (Life of Pi) and multi-Emmy nominee Jeff Danna (The Kid Stays in the Picture) — are composing the score. The brothers are frequent collaborators who previously wrote the score for Pixar's The Good Dinosaur.