By Christian Holub
December 11, 2020 at 02:41 PM EST
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Pixar's new movie Soul is about music — jazz, specifically. But anyone who's ever played an instrument can surely relate to what protagonist Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) talks about in the newest clip from the animated film.

Joe struggles to teach his middle-school band class; their instruments are clearly old and worn, plus there are distracting smartphones to worry about now. But when one student, Connie, gets so into her trumpet playing that she stands up and vibes, Joe explains the magic of music.

"I remember one time my dad took me to this jazz club, and that was the last place I wanted to be," Joe tells his bemused students. "But I saw this guy playing chords with some force on it, and then a minor, ooh ooh. Then he's got the inner voices, and it's like he's singing. The next thing I know, it's like he floats off the stage. That guy was lost in the music, he was in it, and he took the rest of us with him. That's when I knew I was born to play."

That might as well be co-director Kemp Powers talking. A former music writer who played the alto saxophone in a jazz band during high school and named his son after legendary jazz musician Charles Mingus, Powers' personal affinity for jazz feeds into Soul. 

"A lot of us Gen Xers, particularly Black Gen Xers, fell in love with the bebop-era jazz artists — John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, of course, Herbie Hancock," Powers said in a statement. "These guys were musical icons that — specifically in New York City — inform so much of the other big musical genre in the city, which is hip-hop. The background tunes of my life are jazz and hip-hop.”

Soul starts streaming on Disney+ Dec. 25, Christmas Day. Watch the new clip above.

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