Just how Black Panther director Ryan Coogler ended up working on the latest Pixar movie Soul has been revealed.
An eagle-eyed reporter at Slash Film spotted Coogler’s name in Soul’s credits, as the team behind the film gave him a “special thanks”.
Producer Dana Murray said Coogler became involved because he is based in Oakland, California, which is near Pixar’s headquarters in Emeryville.
“Being the friendly studio we are, we have a lot of space, and I think he was looking for a place to hide and write the films he’s working on,” she said.
“So we took advantage of the fact that he was around and asked him to take a look at the reels and we had a notes session with him, and he was really helpful. He’s a really nice guy.”
Actor/musician Daveed Diggs, who voices the character of Paul in Soul, told The Guardian about his involvement on the film, saying he was a “cultural consultant” alongside fellow musicians Questlove and Quincy Jones.
Diggs said Pixar asked “a ton of black folks” for “feedback on cultural relevancy”, because it was the studio’s first film “with a black protagonist”.
After being shown the designs for Soul’s characters, Diggs said Pixar would ask them: “Does this feel like a person you know?” or “Are you offended by this in any way?”
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The actor believes this is “part of an industry-wide self-examination” that is integral because there is “so much unconscious bias happening”.
Soul will be released onto Disney+ on December 25.
Watch: Soul trailer