‘Soul,’ Pixar’s First Film With A Black Lead, Has Some Fans Concerned

The gates to Pixar's campus is seen in Emeryville, California, on November 29, 2016.
Over 21 years of unparalleled success, the executives at animation studio Pixar have developed an aphorism they are fond of repeating -- that their movies are never finished, just released. The motto speaks to the perfectionism that has seen the company gross almost $11 billion and win 13 Oscars since "Toy Story" blazed a trail as the world's first feature-length computer-generated animation in 1995.

 / AFP / Frankie TAGGART / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY FRANKIE TAGGART-"Pixar celebrates 21 years with 'love letter' to Mexico"        (Photo credit should read FRANKIE TAGGART/AFP via Getty Images)

‘Soul,’ Pixar’s First Film With A Black Lead, Has Some Fans Concerned

“Is this going to be a ‘Princess and the Frog’ situation?”

Published March 14th

Written by BET Staff

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.

Do you agree that Pixar’s latest has problematic elements?

Photo: FRANKIE TAGGART/AFP via Getty Images

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