Lessons from the Screenplay: The Soul of character design

(image courtesy IMP awards)

[This video examines] two fundamental elements of character design—want and need. Pixar’s film Soul puts these aspects of story structure right on the surface, and demonstrates why they’re so critical to creating a compelling, emotional character arc. (synopsis via YouTube (c) Lessons from the Screenplay)

Soul is a beautiful, funny, deeply affecting and visually rich film, very much in keeping with Pixar’s emotionally-resonant animated legacy to date.

But there, is course, a great deal to this complex masterpiece of evocative animation and in its latest superlative video, Lessons From the Screenplay explores how good character design plays a key part in Soul‘s appeal.

It examines a character’s “want”, which drives the narrative forward and their need, through which the film “expresses its theme and creates an emotional impact” and Michael Tucker from Lessons From the Screenplay, who you can sponsor through Patreon, notes that both of these attributes sit very close to the surface in Soul because the protagonist, Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) is so obsessed with realising his goals that he doesn’t stop to ask himself what will really make him happy.

As always, you gain an extra rich appreciation for a film you already love, deepening the appeal of a film already rich in a great many rich and beautiful things.

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