Soul: Director Pete Docter Talks Remaining Tethered to Childhood

There has always been a fundamental difference between a family film and a kids film. A kids film is a movie that parents will take their kids to see in a theater [or they did before the world caught on fire and the United States failed to get its act together when it comes to a pandemic] or they put on while at home but they aren't really paying attention to it. It's a nice distraction and there might a few parts they like, but the movie really only appeals to the kids. A family film is one that appeals to everyone in a family and where the adults get just as much out of it as the kids do. Pixar is a studio that knows how to family films and Soul isn't any different. One of the reasons Pixar works so well at making family films is because they don't treat kids like small, dumb adults.

How Kid Screenings Impacted the Story of Soul
In Disney and Pixar's "Soul," a middle-school band teacher named Joe finds himself in 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, to show her what's great about living. Featuring Tina Fey as the voice of 22, and Jamie Foxx as the voice of Joe Gardner, "Soul" will debut exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available) on December 25, 2020. © 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

We got the chance to speak to director Peter Docter, producer Dana Murray, and co-director and writer Kemp Powers at an early press day for Soul earlier this year and Doctor mentioned that remaining tethered to childhood isn't just important for the people at Pixar but for anyone in the entertainment business.

Yeah, totally. I mean, well, I think it's important for any of us in the entertainment business, but especially at Pixar, to kind of remain somewhat tethered to childhood, to remember what that's like and what the world is," Docter explained. "But then, you know, it helps for me to have kids. We all, Dana [Murray] and Kemp [Powers] as well have kids. So, you know, just watching them and having them in the back of your head when you're watching something. I know for me that was always the case. When we put something on the screen, I'm like, oh? What's my kid going to think? Dana, I've heard you kind of reference that, too."

"Yeah," Murray continued. "And I just love that we ask big questions because I think kids ask big questions. They just say it differently."

Check out the audio from our full interview below [because something happened with the video that we can't seem to fix] and look for a review of Soul to go up later today.

A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.

Soul, directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Kemp Powers, stars Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rashad, and John Ratzenberger. It will be released on Disney+ on December 25th.

About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at