It’s been 11 years since a major Disney animated film has had a Black lead, and fans are both excited and concerned for the release.
Soul, which stars Jamie Foxx as a middle school music teacher whose soul is separated from his body following an accident, is helmed by Pixar mainstay Pete Docter (Inside Out, Up) and is slated for release later this year. But while fans are eagerly anticipating the film, a look at the trailer has some concerned:
Some are pointing out that Soul falls in the same trap as other major Disney animated films featuring leads of color: namely, that the leads are often morphed into animals or other creatures early in the film, thereby taking away their real-world identity. It happened in The Princess and the Frog, when Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) spent much of the film as a frog, and even in a Coco, when its Mexican lead Miguel was a skeleton in the afterlife for most of the film.
funny how brother bear, princess and the frog, coco, and pixar’s new movie soul all include people of color turning into something else for the majority of the movie😐— angel misses macdennis (@macdennies) March 8, 2020
I just saw the trailer for Pixar’s new movie ‘Soul’ & why is it that the black main character spends most of the movie ... not being black? The same happened in ‘The Princess & the Frog’. Why are you robbing POC characters of representing screentime?!— Pixel。Phi || HEROES RISING || (@phinamin) November 8, 2019
Disney/Pixar’s Soul looks like it’ll be a tear jerker for sure. The city and human characters look beautiful! But once again, the animation industry cannot let a black character stay a black character through out the entire film. (I.e. Princess and The Frog, Spies in Disguise) https://t.co/5wUhhiyDQ7 pic.twitter.com/8hYysBclVR— Brandon (@youbrandone) November 7, 2019
Not a Hot Take™, but Pixar is just adding to the tradition of transforming people of color into Something Else. In animation, it's largely been animals (Princess & the Frog, Brother Bear, Emperor's New Groove) and now it's a glowing green soul that lacks any real racial coding.— hindsight is 2020 (@zachsilberberg) November 7, 2019
funny how disney and pixar movies with a black protagonist (the princess and the frog and now “soul”) have them dehumanized through a good part of the movie. i wonder why that is.— amanda (@violentsgrace) November 7, 2019
Do you agree that Pixar’s latest has problematic elements?
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