Pixar’s first film to feature a black protaganist and the first feature-length Pixar movie to highlight a predominantly black voice cast.
In a typical year, winners and nominees would hop from party to party at the Hilton, with their trophies in hand. But in this strange year, most were simply moving from the living room to the bedroom during last night’s Golden Globe Awards.
Of course, there was still much excitement and yes, some controversy, during the show and hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey handled it in typical fashion with wit, humor and sharp narratives.
It’s the Emeryville-based animation studio’s ninth win in total, but the film apparently made history as co-director Kemp Powers became the first Black debut filmmaker to win a Golden Globe — though, as the Hollywood Reporter pointed out, he was not informed of the nomination until Sunday afternoon amid recent controversy over the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lack of voting members who are Black. It’s worth noting, however, that this is the first win for a feature that premiered on the Disney Plus platform, and the film is Pixar’s first to feature a main character and centrist to the story that is black, voiced by Jaime Foxx.
Along with a predominantly black voice cast, Daveed Diggs, Questlove, Phylicia Rashad, Tina Fey was excited and honored to also be apart of this ground breaking film.
In his virtual acceptance speech, director and co-writer Pete Docter spoke about how jazz teaches us about the real world.
“We can’t always control what happens in the world, but like a good jazz musician, we can try to turn that into something beautiful,” he said. Producer Dana Murray also spoke, before turning it over to co-writer, and Pixar’s first Black co-director, Kemp Powers, who was in Los Angeles.
“Being able to tell a universal tale that explored the meaning of life through the prism of a Black man’s experience was a special honor, and though the details are specific, I really do believe our story is universal,” Powers said.
Soul’s success on Sunday not only bolsters its chances at the Oscars, but on a wider level, it’s helping to amplify the ripple effects of Pixar’s push for diversity in storytelling. The company last broke ground with 2017’s Coco, its first title with a largely Latino cast.
“I think when people go to movies they want to see something that they’ve never seen, and that’s a real key — that is finding new voices,” Docter previously told EW. “I think it’s essential for what we do and what we’re already starting to do. I think it’s the path we’re on right now.”
Soul also scored a win for Best Original Score.
Disney Pixar’s animated Soul took the Golden Globe Award for best original score, with co-composer Jon Batiste telling viewers we “only have one life to live and one soul, and this soul is happy today.”
Batiste’s apparently pre-taped acceptance speech hit the screen immediately. His thank-yous were then followed by co-composer Trent Reznor, the Nine Inch Nails frontman turned movie music writer, who thanked Disney Pixar for providing him with “the first piece of art I’ve ever made in my life that I can show to my kids.” Soul‘s third composer, Atticus Ross, thanked his wife Claudia and their children. Both Ross and Reznor also were nominated for their score for Mank.
Spokesmayne; EW; NBC