The Hidden Story Behind Pixar's 'Soul' Revealed by Co-Director Kemp Powers

Harper Quill

Updated Monday, July 8, 2024 at 12:00 AM CDT

Pixar's animated masterpiece, "Soul," has captivated audiences worldwide with its profound storytelling and stunning visuals. However, an intriguing anecdote shared by the film's co-writer and co-director, Kemp Powers, offers a unique behind-the-scenes look into the film’s creation and its resonance with the African American community.

Before any official details about Pixar's "Soul" were made public, a black cab driver made an astute observation. According to Powers, the cab driver remarked that he knew Pixar was working on a "black movie" because he had never driven so many black people to Pixar Studios before. This candid comment not only highlights the film's cultural impact but also underscores the importance of representation in media.

The film "Soul" tells the story of Joe Gardner, a middle school music teacher with dreams of becoming a professional ja** musician. The animated scene in the image captures Joe crossing a bustling city street, exuding determination as he navigates the vibrant urban landscape. This scene, like many others in the film, beautifully depicts New York City's essence, with its autumnal hues and iconic architecture.

In the same image, Kemp Powers is seen in a circular inset photograph, linking his personal experiences to the narrative of "Soul." Powers' contribution to the film is significant, as his insights and creativity helped shape a story that resonates deeply with audiences of all backgrounds.

"Soul" has sparked a variety of reactions among viewers, as evidenced by social media comments. Some have praised its innovative approach, while others have debated its place within Pixar’s extensive filmography. One comment notes, "I really enjoyed the movie," while another expresses confusion about the love for "Inside Out" compared to "Soul" and "Onward." The film's award-winning musical score, crafted by Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor, also received accolades for its emotional depth and originality.

Despite differing opinions, "Soul" remains a monumental achievement for Pixar, breaking new ground in animated storytelling by exploring themes of identity, purpose, and the human experience. The film has also sparked discussions about diversity and inclusion in Hollywood, emphasizing the need for more stories that reflect the rich tapestry of our society.

For those yet to experience "Soul," the film promises a journey of self-discovery and a celebration of life's everyday moments. With Kemp Powers' invaluable input and the film's heartfelt narrative, "Soul" continues to inspire and move audiences, making it a standout piece in Pixar’s illustrious collection.

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View source: Imgur

Top Comments from Imgur


How did they get a pic of the unnamed, unknown cab driver to put with this? Or is it just a stock photo?


I really enjoyed the movie


I do not understand the amount of love given to Inside Out - which I thought was OK but not OMG GREAT - while Soul and Onward are brushed aside.


Pixar: "What if toys had feelings?" "What if robots had feelings?" "What if monsters had feelings?" "What if rats had feelings?" "What if black people had feelings?"


This was a great movie


Wait... where's the second part?? These usually have a "So they included him in the movie" stinger.


Academy award winning musical score. Amazing soundtrack.


Since I was really little until my mid-20s, I used to fly nearly weekly due to family circumstances (a ton of stand-by flights). So, I spent the majority of my days in the airport and people watching for fun. At one point in my life, I was able to guess people's careers with nearly a perfect accuracy - which was considered creepy to some. Anyways, at about 16 yo, I got seated next to a gentleman who seemed really different. We chatted and joked for a bit, about 10 minutes into the flight...


Didn't this movie get some heat because of the whole "souls always go to their right body made perfectly for them" which made some people feel it was a bit transphobic?


They say the pizza places in DC are the first to know when major s*** is going down because their orders to the pentagon and white house multiply.

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