Soul hits theaters on June 19, 2020
Disney-Pixar’s latest offering, Toy Story 4, doesn’t hit theaters until Friday but the animation studio is already looking forward to next year.
On Wednesday, the folks behind big screen hits like Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, A Bug’s Life, The Good Dinosaur and Coco unexpectedly announced another original animated film coming to theaters on June 19, 2020: Soul.
The movie — which will be the 23rd story in the Pixar cannon released since the Emeryville, California-based CGI film production company launched in 1995 — will take viewers “on a journey from the streets of New York City to the cosmic realms to discover the answers to life’s most important questions,” Pixar wrote in matching posts on Twitter and Instagram.
Along with that description, Pixar also released its first image of Soul’s title artwork, written in blue font with orange, yellow, and white accents.
Aside from that, details about Soul are sparse.
It’ll be written and directed by two-time Oscar winner Pete Docter, Pixar Animation Studios’ chief creative officer. Docter has been with Pixar since before Toy Story‘s 1995 release. He’s credited as a writer on that film, as well as its 1999 sequel, Toy Story 2, and 2008’s WALL-E. Docter also wrote and directed Monsters, Inc., Up, and Inside Out; executive produced Toy Story 4; and has been involved in many of the studio’s animated shorts (like 2002′ Mike’s New Car, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short Film).
Producing Soul will be Dana Murray, another longtime Pixar employee who worked on Up, Inside Out, Cars 3, Brave, and more. In 2018, she was also nominated in the Oscar’s Best Animated Short Film category for Lou.
Soul does mark a Pixar first: It’s the first film in the studio’s history to be set in New York City.
The company has taken on real-life locales before, like Paris (Ratatouille), San Francisco (Inside Out), Scotland (Brave), Australia (Finding Nemo), South America (Up), Mexico (Coco) and even the Himalayas (Monster’s Inc.).
And though the movie is a long time away, there will be another Pixar offering in the interim.
On March 6, 2020, the studio is dropping Onward — another original film featuring the voices of Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Octavia Spencer.
PEOPLE had the exclusive first look at Onward back in May.
Set in a fantasy world where mythical creatures have fallen into a life of suburban normalcy, the movie tells the story of two elf brothers (Avengers costars Pratt and Holland), who “go out on an adventure to see if there’s a little magic left in that world,” director and writer Dan Scanlon explained.
Pratt plays the boisterous older brother and Holland, the gawky, more reserved younger sibling (Louis-Dreyfus is the teenage boys’ mother).
“Tom Holland is perfect for our character of Ian, the younger brother,” Scanlon, who also wrote and directed Monster’s University, said. “We were looking for someone who could have this shy quality and someone who is good at being a little awkward. And Tom is great at that! And yet has a genuine sweetness to him that you really root for him.”
For Pratt’s character, “We wanted someone who was the exact opposite of that,” Scanlon, recalled. “Someone who could be wild and chaotic and out of control, but in a very charming and infectious way. And Chris Pratt is perfect for that. He has this ability to be both sort of wild and out of control but in a really lovable, fun, infectious way.”
Scanlon promised Onward will bring the laughs, too, but like its fellow Disney-Pixar films, he expects it will also connect emotionally.
“I absolutely hope that people are laughing their heads off and crying their eyes out,” he shared. “My hope is some of the questions that I’m asking in the film will be questions other people are asking about their own lives. And I think that’s what a lot of the times gets us to connect to a movie.”