Entertainment

Watch: Pixar’s ‘Soul’ Teaser Features It’s First Animated Film Starring A Black Character

Breakout the tissue boxes, mi gente, Pixar has a new movie and it will totally make you lorrar.

Just when you thought the studio behind “Up” and “Inside Out” couldn’t replicate the emotions they served you when they released “Coco” they dropped a trailer that did it again within just under three minutes. The film, which is similar to “Coco” in that it will require viewers to confront their own passions and relationship with death, also presents a big time first for the production company.

It’s going to be incredibly Black. 

Pixar’s first film featuring a black lead, called “Soul,” debuted its first trailer on Thursday. 

The upcoming American fantasy adventure comedy animated film stars the voices of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, Phylicia Rashad and Daveed Diggs. Schedule to premiere in theaters on June 19 in 2020, the film will follow Foxx as Joe Gardner, a middle school music teacher, who has long been cradling a dream of being a jass performer. After impressing a set of jazz musicians during an opening act at the Half Note Club, he finally gets his chance. But when he falls through a manhole, Garner’s soul is separated from his body and taken to the “You Seminar” a center where souls develop and gain passions before being transported to newborns.Gardner’s task is to work with souls, like 22 a soul trapped in the You Seminiar, in training in order to return to Earth before time runs out.

Set for a June 2020 release date, Pixar says that the film will explore the meaning of life and what it means to have a soul.

  They may seem like big questions for a kid’s movie, but fans of Pixar will remember that is pretty much how the big time production company usually rolls.

It’s not the first time Pixar hasn’t gotten real about real issues with its audience of young and old.

In 2018, the studio produced the Oscar-winning short, “Bao,” which dived into the issues of empty nest syndrome within a Chinese-Canadian family. I n2015, it produced another short film called  “Sanjay’s Super Team” which dove into the perspective of of a first-generation Indian-American boy whose love for American super heroes conflict with the traditions and religious practices of his father. And of course, in 2017, Pixar’s Oscar-winning film “Coco” broke boundaries and our hearts with a generational tale of Día de los Muertos and Mexican culture. 

While more details about “Soul” have yet to be revealed, we’re pretty sure that if Pixar’s previous movies and shorts are any indication you’ll want a box of tissues and a trusty hand to cling to close by.

Fans of “Coco” know the movie had quite a bit of history and story packed into it. But did you know these 25 facts from behind the movie?

1. The trivia behind the movie will make you cry more than the movie.

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For instance: this bit of insight from the film’s co-director and screenwriter Adrian Molina, revealed that the idea behind Miguel watching the films of Ernesto de la Cruz on videotapes to learn how to play the guitar was inspired by Molina’s own experiences as a child. During his childhood in the 1990s, Molina would record the episodes of The Wonderful World of Disney television program on ABC, CBS, and The Disney Channel on videotape. The episodes made him long for a better life.

2. The title got a name change in Brazil.

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In Portuguese “cocô” means “poop.” When the word is without the accent, “coco” it refers to the coconut fruit. To avoid confusion, creators changed the name to “Viva.”

3. The movie was too touching to be banned in China.

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“Coco” has quite a few  themes and bits of content that are typically banned in China. However, reports say that Chinese censor board members were so touched by the movie they made an exception and let it run.

4. This film opened in Mexico first.

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Three and a half weeks before it’s U.S. opening, “Coco” opened first. The film surpassed “The Avengers” as the country’s highest grossing film.

5. There’s a bit of history to that Frida appearance.

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In the movie, Frida Kahlo’s spirit calls Dante “Yolo”. In real life, Frida and her husband helped to save the Xoloitzcuintli dog breed by inserting it into their art. It didn’t take long for the breed to gain popularity around the world.

6. Speaking of Easter eggs…

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One of Pixar’s biggest and most recognizable Easter eggs also makes an appearance in the movie. In  The Land of the Dead the door to the office is labelled with “A113.” It’s a nod to the California Institute of Arts classroom where many of Disney and Pixar animators studied.

7. The movie mourns old technology.

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Pay attention and you’ll see that in the Land of The Dead there’s a quite a bit of out-dated technology use. Keep an eye out for an 80s MacIntosh computer and walkie-talkie radios. It’s actually pretty fitting considering these bits of technology are, as of today, obsolete and well dead.

8. More time and effort went into this project more than another Pixar film.

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“Coco” was in production between 2011 and 2017. The filmset a Pixar record for being a Pixar animated film with the longest production schedule.

9. The animations hit the right notes

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Musicians be ware. This one pays close attention to detail. Check out the scenes where the guitars are played, you’ll find that the character’s fingers match up to the actual chords.

10. Gael García Bernal worked double time.

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Gael García Bernal is the only actor amongst the main cast to voice his character in both the film’s English and Spanish versions. All this despite the fact he isn’t the only Latino actor in the film.

Read: Here Are 25 Pieces Of ‘Coco’ Fan Art That Will Make You Want To Watch The Movie

11. The film got #1.

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The film spent more days as #1 spot at the box office than any other animated film in the 21st century.

12. “Coco” is a Pixar last.

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“Coco” will be Disney’s last original full- length animated film of the 2010s. The upcoming films to come out before 2020 are all sequels. We’re looking at you Incredibles 2 (2018), Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (2018), Toy Story 4 (2019) and Frozen 2 (2019). Now if you were one of the characters from “Coco,” who would you be? Take this quiz to find out.

13. There’s a little bit of brown face.

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Womp womp. Guess risking Pixar’s long considered “good-luck charm” was a little too much for this studio to handle. In “Coco” John Ratzenberger plays a ghost named Juan Ortodoncia.

Read: 20 Gifts For The ‘Coco’ Fan In Your Family

14. Abuelita’s neck had some problems.

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The movie’s creators have said the one of the most difficult parts of the film to animate was Abuelita’s neck. To do her neck justice, the filmmakers flew out one of the animator’s mother-in-laws from Mexico and did their best to make her angry to see how Abuelita’s neck would move when she got upset. It took some time but eventually the movie got its material.

15. Incredibles 2 makes an appearance.

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In the scene where Miguel and Héctor arrive in Ernesto de la Cruz Plaza there is a scene of people lighting fireworks. On the right side of the screen in this scene there is a poster for Pixar’s Incredibles 2.

16. It outpaced Cars 3

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The film grossed more money worldwide in 19 days than Pixards “Cars 3”

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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Cast Of ‘In The Heights’ Want You To Know The Importance Of Going To College

Entertainment

Cast Of ‘In The Heights’ Want You To Know The Importance Of Going To College

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning Broadway musical In the Heights is finally coming to the big screen, and it has a star-studded cast to make it happen! Joined by Quiara Alegría Hudes – who wrote the book for the musical – and Crazy Rich Asians director Jon Chu, Miranda amplifies the musical’s poignant narrative about community and pursuing your dreams with stunning visuals and tons of amazing music inspired by the rich Latinx culture of Washington Heights.

Ahead of the film’s opening at the Tribeca Film Festival, Lin-Manuel Miranda and several members of the cast join Maria Hinojosa for a poignant discussion on what the film means to them and the importance of going to college no matter who you are or where your come from.

Cast members share their own very unique experiences of growing up and making it into college.

Maria Hinojosa of Latino USA on NPR is joined by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Leslie Grace (who plays ‘Nina’), and Corey Hawkins, all of whom share their unique and profound experiences with deciding on if they would go to college and what they went through to get there.

So many of us are first or second generation college students, reaping the benefits of the hard work put in by our parents and abuelos to help us achieve our dreams. But not all of us share the same path to university, something made very clear as each of these In The Heights cast members make very clear with their own journeys.

Lin-Manuel acknowledges his own privilege on his path to university and how it influenced the film.

Manuel says that he had an advantage in his journey, thanks to his parents who really helped cultivate that desire for learning from a young age. He was able to attend a prestigious private school as a child but even then recognized a duality within him existed – going as Lin at school (in a predominantly white space) and Lin-Manuel back at home.

Upon going to college at Wesleyan University, Manuel met and made Latino friends, a lot of whom were first from their families to go to college. Many didn’t get the same crash course in code switching that he did from a younger age, so for many of his peers it was tough for them to adjust to college life.

By the end of his first year in college, his roommates at the Latino program house shrunk from eight other members to just four. This struggle and conflict with their time in college and their Latinx identity is reflected in the character Nina and her own struggle with returning to her home in Washington Heights.

For Quiara, the story of Nina’s journey is particularly personal.

Much like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes’ parents were also leaders in their community. Her father was a prominent businessman while her mother was an activist in her community. But unlike Manuel, her parents didn’t attend university, it wasn’t something that was on their path. She points out that “it wasn’t that they didn’t treasure learning, it’s just that university wasn’t part of that path.”

Quiara – who attended Yale – says that she was very conflicted as a half Latina and half white woman even though she had often grown up in white spaces. However, she wasn’t prepared for being in a space with so few Latinos. She had to learn how to merge those two parts of her life that she felt were drifting further and further apart.

The cast discusses ‘imposter syndrome’ and how to fight it.

Imposter syndrome is very real. And it can often affect those of us who feel like we don’t deserve our achievements or recognition. Maria asks the cast to how they overcame it and how they learned to own their space.

Leslie Grace reminds us that “you have a story only you can tell and you need to tap into your feelings of potential.”

Check out the full trailer for In The Heights below.

The festival’s opening night screening will be held on June 9 at the United Palace theater in Washington Heights. For the first time ever, Tribeca’s inaugural film will be screened simultaneously across all five boroughs in multiple open-air venues.

Following the opening night of Tribeca, “In the Heights” will debut in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service on June 11. It was originally scheduled to be released last year, but Warner Bros. postponed its release due to the pandemic.

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