How did Pixar portray jazz in soul animation?

"Soul" The acclaimed Pixar animation directed by Pete Doctor and Camp Powers is a unique collaboration between filmmakers and musicians. Pixar Animation Studio has a long list of highlights so far. They are very different in creating lasting and unique characters, something we have seen since the release of their first feature film, Toy Story.

BingMag.com How did Pixar portray jazz in soul animation?

"Soul" The acclaimed Pixar animation directed by Pete Doctor and Camp Powers is a unique collaboration between filmmakers and musicians. Pixar Animation Studio has a long list of highlights so far. They are very different in creating lasting and unique characters, something we have seen since the release of their first feature film, Toy Story.

  • Soul animation; The same theme as in a conservative cartoon

Twenty-five years later, they set a new standard of quality. For the first time, they depict the life of a hero with an African-American background. Jazz is a key element in the design and it raises even more expectations as many jazz musicians will surely judge the film.

In this article, how and why to use jazz or black improvisation We will examine the plot as a metaphor for real life.

Original plot

BingMag.com How did Pixar portray jazz in soul animation?

This film tells the story of Joe Gardner, a middle-aged music teacher whose life did not go as expected. Joe's whole passion for life is summed up in playing jazz, and he believes that he was born to play and perform this music at all. Eventually, Joe arrives and is offered a chance to play with the number one saxophonist of the period, Dorothy Williams. . Joe panics because he feels he has an unfinished business in his life (playing jazz) and manages to escape. Instead of returning to earth, he reaches the underworld, where spirits are given personality before birth.

To prevent him from returning to the afterlife, he pretends to be a mentor and They refer to an exceptional spirit called 22. He has spent 22 hundred years in seminary, an institution where new spirits must have a few basic requirements before they can go to earth. 22 refuses to be born because he does not enjoy living.

When 22 realizes that Joe is not a real coach, they agree that if Joe manages to meet the requirements, instead of 22 , Is given permission to return to earth and thus can achieve his goal in life. Joe fails, but he and the 22 spirits are replaced. However, when they return to Earth, 22 finds itself in the body of a barley, and barley finds itself in the body of a cat.

22 He enjoys life and finds the will to be born. After a series of events, they find themselves in the underworld and receive 22 birthday tickets. As agreed with Joe, he replaced Joe with 22, so Joe returned to Earth with 22 left.

Joe performed his long-held dream by performing with Dorothy Williams. Covered, but soon realized that his choices, pursuing a single goal, brought him other great joys in life.

Character Originality

BingMag.com How did Pixar portray jazz in soul animation?

Pixar has always been strong in creating a sense of authenticity of its characters. In animation, filmmakers often have to use cartoons to do this. Remember Carl Frederickson's large square face and glasses in "Up"! Show an American without using racist clichs from old cartoons. Joe Gardner, as a human being, is an African-American. He has a black mustache, a hat and big black glasses that remind us of other jazz legends such as Dave Brobeck and Tuts Tillmans. The physical appearance of the atmosphere is classic and free from common stereotypes. How Joe relates to music plays the most important role in his character.

  • Selection of soul animation critiques; Another hilarious work by Disney and Pixar

Pixar consulted with many jazz musicians, including Herbie Hancock, during the making of the "Spirit" animation. They also did extensive research in jazz clubs, where they interviewed musicians about their lives. All of this research was used to shape Joe's character, and to compose and record, they worked with pianist and band leader John Batiste.

Usually, Pixar added music as a final step in the creative process. But for this film, they took a different approach because they believed that music was a central and important part of the story. Joe's originality came to life in two ways. The first is Jimmy Foxx, a trained pianist himself.

The second element is John Batiste's composition, recording, and physical movement. Face recording It was digitally filmed and turned into animation in reverse. This means that when Joe is playing the piano, you can clearly see the notes he is playing and reaching your ears. The way John Batiste sits behind the piano and moves his fingers on the keys adds to the originality of the atmosphere. "My hands play a key role in my life," said John Batiste in an interview with the New York Times. "I cried when I saw the essence of my being bring the atmosphere to life." This is an honor for me.

Black improvisational music as a metaphor for real life

BingMag.com How did Pixar portray jazz in soul animation?

Journalist and music critic Giovanni Rassonlu for The New York Times writes:

Over the past few years, jazz has been prominent on Damien Chassell. Like "Whiplash" from 2014 and "La La Land" from 2016. He tells the story of young white men who are painfully committed to playing the jazz and giving them a sense of superiority. Jazz is a challenge in these films. But in "Spirit", music is more of an ointment; A river full of opportunity flowing through a hostile country, and as Rainy says in Wilson's screenplay, is just the language of life. Consider, for example, Andrew in Whiplash (played by Miles Teller), whose goal is to become a master drummer by studying at Juilliard and practicing around the clock, but with little focus on spirituality. Or consider Sebastian (played by Ryan Gosling) in Lala Land, who claims to be the patron saint of jazz and whose sole purpose is to open a jazz club. They communicate with jazz in a very different way than Joe Gardner. Jazz is part of African-American history, and it's an important element in the film. ul>

Yes, the atmosphere also starts with a goal. His goal in life is to become a professional jazz musician. He focuses on the idea that if he does not do this, his life will have no meaning. He says he lives only to play and nothing else matters. But the character is built on the idea that above the goal, there are more aspects to life.

Throughout the film, Joe sees the joys he lost after reaching his goal. It becomes. Joe's character is built around this "manifestation" and not around a single goal. He knows that people, including himself, can be separated from life because they focus on one thing instead of all aspects of life.

In this film, black jazz or improvisation is a metaphor for real life. And it is the unexpected situations that force us to adapt. The director, Pete Doctor, said in an interview that he was inspired by a story told by Herbie Hancock. During a tour of Europe with Miles Davis in the 1960s, a concert was held in which Hancock played a piano chord so badly that he thought the whole concert was ruined. But Miles Davis played the improvised chords by playing a series of improvised notes, making the Hancock chords look right.

Miles Davis did this not by misjudging, but by interpreting it as something new. Dad. It was an unexpected situation in which the musician was inspired to improvise. Miles turned what others hated into something valuable. Pete Doctor said the story helped the film's theme, and the idea of improvising or improvising is a great metaphor for what we do in our daily lives.

Source: bertoltpress

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