Jamie Foxx is a very talented actor. He has delivered great performances in films of almost every genre, proving that his talents are multifaceted and unique. The Grammy and Oscar winner lent his voice to the animated film, Anam. He was the first Black director in a Disney-Pixar film, and opened up to Variety about the experience.
The ‘soul’ is a wonderful journey into the afterlife
Anam gave the powerhouse Pixar animation team an artistic challenge. They had to create images throughout the film that accurately represented the meaning of jazz music. The team also had to create a way to draw the audience into making up the music, a visual representation of the beauty of the process.
The work of the film’s director and writers was also cut out for them. They wanted to properly represent the life of a jazz musician, so they did an in-depth study before creating their story. The filmmakers collaborated with several jazz musicians, visited nightclubs around New York City and immersed themselves in that world.
They learned how these jazz musicians started in the industry, where they studied music, and whether they worked other jobs. The animators studied the way the players moved piano while playing, so that they could model the main character after them.
Pixar strives for authenticity with every film they make. Surprisingly, they were able to digitally save the notes played on the soundtrack, and program them into the animation. That means that the notes played by the character in the animation matched the actual notes played on the piano. Surely they hit the mark with Anam, delivering a truly unique musical experience.
Who played Jamie Foxx in ‘Soul’?
In a recent interview with Variety, Foxx revealed about what it felt like to be the first Black lead in a Disney-Pixar movie. Foxx was proud to be part of the film that focuses heavily on Black culture, through the life of its main character and the amazing jazz music that was introduced throughout the story.
Foxx credits co-director and co-writer Kemp Powers with the authenticity of the film’s characters. He commented on the Powers bringing in pictures of barber shops, wanting Joe to have the right cut – “When we have to get a cut, that’s a cultural thing.”
The creative team worked diligently to accurately portray the relevant culture, taking great care to avoid caricature, tropes, and stereotypes. They wanted to create a film that would move the audience, celebrating the beauty of jazz music. Foxx delivered an amazing performance once again, taking us on a beautiful journey that will make us appreciate the little things in life.