In recent months, Pixar’s Soul has been sweeping the 2021 awards season, as well as making history in animation. A major pull for the movie was having Oscar winner Jamie Foxx voicing the protagonist. The actor has spoken up a few times about the importance of Joe Gardner in Pixar’s legacy, and as Soul continues to make history, the actor left a message for fans on social media.
Soul has become one of Pixar’s most-talked-about feature films in recent years. Highlighting a Black character in an animated film was important given the year of trauma and social change Black America has gone through. The wins and nominations having been piling up, including Golden Globes and Oscars recognition. Jamie Foxx took to his Instagram to celebrate the film’s latest accolade. Check out his response to Soul’s historic Oscar nomination below:
As Jamie Foxx pointed out, Soul has continued to make history at every turn. The film has been one of the few hybrid releases to have the best of both worlds. It was huge on streaming and at the international box office despite the ongoing pandemic. Besides its distinction within Pixar’s legacy, Foxx was able to bring Joe Gardner to life through his sense of timing and emotion in the film. So, he and the cast deserved just as much praise as the writers, animators and directors. With that said, the film came off as a true collaboration between everyone involved.
For many viewers, Soul served as a watershed moment as Pixar’s first feature-length film to feature a Black character as the lead. Besides a few animated films here and there (see: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), it touched on the intricacies of African American culture without seeming out-of-touch or pandering. It was authentic to Black culture in a way few other films have been (thanks to co-writer Kemp Powers). It was a celebration of multiple facets of being a Black person today.
That isn’t to say Soul was perfect by any means. There were some issues related to the plot and characterization people pointed out on social media, but this doesn’t take away from the amazing storytelling, animation and performances the film offers.
Soul’s overall package has led to other historical moments. In addition to its Oscar nomination and Golden Globe win, the film racked up a few NAACP Image nominations. The Pixar film recently broke a box office record held by Incredible 2 in China. So, a Pixar film with a Black lead continues to break records and reach milestones despite obvious obstacles. We need more of this until there are no more records benchmarks to reach. Only time will tell if Soul will be regarded as an important release in the Pixar pantheon in the years to come.