Disney-Pixar’s Soul arrives on Disney+ on December 25, 2020. Anyone who has seen any of the trailers ahead of its release quickly realizes that music is going to play a big role in Soul’s story. Ahead of its release, Walt Disney Records is set to release three albums around the film. This includes the Soul Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Soul Original Score vinyl album and Music From and Inspired by Soul vinyl album. The digital soundtrack and both of the vinyl albums will be available on December 18, 2020.
In a release, Disney shared how music fits into the film saying:
“Soul” is set in two distinct worlds, gritty New York City and the ethereal cosmic realms of The Great Before, which called for two styles of music that help shape and define each world. Globally renowned musician and GRAMMY® nominee Jon Batiste provided the original jazz compositions and arrangements for the film, and Oscar® winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Social Network”), from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Nine Inch Nails, created an original score that will drift between the real and soul worlds.
Director Pete Docter said, “Jon Batiste is a fantastic musician—he’s a historian yet is able to push the music forward, bringing all these different influences to the work. I sincerely hope that the jazz music in ‘Soul’ will inspire a whole new generation.”
“All the compositions are influenced by a large swath of the hundred-plus years of jazz music, which gives the listener a lot of reference points. It’s a subtle way to pay homage while also introducing a whole new audience to these types of sounds,” Jon Bateste said.
On creating the score Trent Reznor said, “Our first step is always to listen and really try to understand where the filmmakers are coming from—what they’re seeing, what they’re imagining. We spent a lot of time discussing how you’re supposed to feel when you’re first exposed to the ‘Soul’ world. Then we went back to our studio, which is filled with a variety of real, imagined and synthetic instruments, and spent the first chunk of time experimenting with different arrangements and different instruments and seeing what felt emotionally right to create the fabric of this world.”
Great efforts were made to differentiate the different areas of that world. Ross shared, “There’s The Great Before, The Great Beyond, The Astral Plane, The You Seminar,” he says. “Every place needed its own identity.”
Docter continued, “We wanted the score for this film to be different from any other Pixar film. We were excited to work with Trent and Atticus because we knew they would bring us places we’d never gone before. Their unique approach to sound and creative thinking made them really inspiring to work with.”
The digital version of the Soul Original Motion Picture Soundtrack includes 42 score and jazz tracks. For the Soul Original Score vinyl album, there are 23 tracks with 12 on Side A and 11 on Side B. This is the music composed by Reznor and Ross. The Music From and Inspired by Soul vinyl album includes 22 tracks. Side A has 15 tracks and Side B has 7 tracks, including Batiste’s cover of It’s All Right.”
With the soundtrack announcement, a new featurette looking at the music was also released.
What is it that makes you…YOU? Pixar Animation Studios’ all-new feature film “Soul” introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) – a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. 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. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions.
Soul arrives exclusively on Disney+ on December 25, 2020.