Why are we here? What makes us… well, us? In Pixar’s first Soul trailer, the next animated film from Inside Out‘s Pete Docter attempts to tackle these existential questions while a soul does the hoedown in the great beyond.
The footage debuted Thursday on Good Morning America and highlights Jamie Foxx as Joe Gardner, a middle school teacher from New York City who moonlights as a jazz musician. He gets the gig of a lifetime, but, unfortunately, an accident — perhaps that fall down a sewer grate — sends his soul to the pearly gates. Actually, it’s sent to the You Seminar, a celestial workshop that creates souls and gives them personalities before sending them off to human bodies.
On his journey to get back to his own body, Joe meets Tina Fey‘s 22, a soul who can’t stand humans but helps Joe on his mission across the cosmos. Other characters are voiced by Blindspotting‘s Daveed Diggs, The Cosby Show‘s Phylicia Rashad, and The Roots drummer Questlove.
“We went in a completely different direction than any of the other films that Pete’s done,” co-director Kemp Powers told EW. “It’s hard to contain our enthusiasm over how much people are going to be surprised by what they see.”
“I’ve been doing animation for 30 years,” Docter explained. “I love it, I can’t get enough of it, and then I also recognize this is not the end-all, be-all of everything. There are children and life experiences and food and all these other things in the world that you can’t say are less important than animation. I would maybe have said that at certain times in my life. It’s an exploration of, where should your focus be? What are the things that, at the end of the day, are really going to be the important things that you look back on and go, ‘I spent a worthy amount of my limited time on earth worrying or focused on that’?”
Soul is scheduled to hit theaters on June 19, 2020.