Interview by Paul Salfen

Paul Salfen talks to Pixar head writer Mike Jones, a fellow Texan, who describes what it’s like to step outside the box and pursue a dream, taking a leap of faith by going from school at North Texas to NYU.  It opened up a world of possibilities for Jones in the film business, and now the latest release from Disney/Pixar SOUL has some terrific questions for all of us to ponder – like the meaning of our lives.  How big is the universe, what is our place in it?  Listen as he tells Paul Salfen the touching story of  how the “Epiphany”  sequence was written around the time his father was passing away, and how that impacted the film.



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In Disney and Pixar’s “Soul,” Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) is a middle-school band teacher whose true passion is playing jazz. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Globally renowned musician Jon Batiste provides the original jazz compositions and arrangements for the film and Oscar®-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from Nine Inch Nails compose the score that drifts between the real and soul worlds. “Soul” will debut exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available) on December 25, 2020. ©2020 Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved.


Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx), a middle-school band teacher. When he gets the chance of a lifetime to play with Dorothea Williams (voice of Angela Bassett) at the best jazz club in town, he believes his life is finally going to change. Globally renowned musician Jon Batiste provides the original jazz compositions and arrangements for the film and Oscar®-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from Nine Inch Nails compose the score. “Soul” will debut exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available) on December 25, 2020. ©2020 Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved.


In Disney and Pixar’s “Soul,” a middle-school band teacher named Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) makes one small misstep which takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before—a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth and where he meets a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey). Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter, co-directed by Kemp Powers and produced by Academy Award® nominee Dana Murray, p.g.a., “Soul” will debut exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available) on December 25, 2020. ©2020 Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved.


In Disney and Pixar’s “Soul,” a middle-school band teacher finds himself in The Great Before—a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Unfortunately, Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) doesn’t feel like he belongs in this land of new souls. Determined to return to his life, he teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter, co-directed by Kemp Powers and produced by Academy Award® nominee Dana Murray, p.g.a., “Soul” will debut exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available) on December 25, 2020. ©2020 Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved.


In Disney and Pixar’s “Soul,” a middle-school band teacher named Joe Gardner gets the chance of a lifetime to play the piano in a jazz quartet headed by the great Dorothea Williams. Featuring Jamie Foxx as the voice of Joe Gardner, and Angela Bassett as the voice of Dorothea, “Soul” will debut exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available) on December 25, 2020. © 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.


ALL THAT JAZZ – In Pixar Animation Studios’ upcoming feature film “Soul,” Joe Gardner is a middle-school band teacher whose true passion is playing jazz. A single unexpected step sends him to the cosmic realms where he finds the “You Seminar”—a fantastical place where Joe is forced to think again about what it truly means to have soul. Jamie Foxx was tapped to voice Joe. Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Inside Out,” “Up”), co-directed by Kemp Powers and produced by Academy Award® nominee Dana Murray (Pixar short “Lou”), “Soul” will debut exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available) on December 25, 2020. © 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.


In Disney and Pixar’s “Soul,” Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) is a middle-school band teacher whose true passion is playing jazz. When he gets lost in his music, he goes into “the zone,” an immersive state that causes the rest of the world to literally melt away. Globally renowned musician Jon Batiste will be writing original jazz music for the film, and Oscar®-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Social Network”), from Nine Inch Nails, will compose an original score that will drift between the real and soul worlds. “Soul” will debut exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available) on December 25, 2020. © 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

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