Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste won the Oscar for best score for the jazz-infused Pixar feature Soul, which featured the contrast of New York’s jazz scene with original compositions by Batiste, and the ethereal Great Before, scored by Reznor and Ross.
Backstage, Ross noted that the film arrived in December at a “transformative period [in the pandemic] when people were looking at their lives and what was important. Soul speaks to that.”
“Music is life,” Batiste said, adding that the collaboration he shared with Ross, Reznor and Pixar is “something that will stay with me.”
This is the second Oscar for Reznor and Ross, who were doubled nominated in the category, for Soul and David Fincher’s ’30s-set Mank. The Nine Inch Nails multihyphenates previously won an Oscar for the score of Fincher’s The Social Network and a Grammy for the score soundtrack to Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo It’s been a big year for the duo, who last September earned an Emmy for the score of Damon Lindelof’s HBO limited series Watchmen, putting them just a Tony away from EGOT status.
Jazz pianist Jon Batiste — a Grammy-nominated singer, composer, musician, songwriter and band leader — was also the visual inspiration for the Pixar animators as to how Soul‘s protagonist Joe (voiced by Jamie Foxx) would look and move as his played the piano in the film.