NEW YORK -- This holiday season, everybody is finding new ways to safely connect with friends and family and stay in touch with the people in their community, even from a distance. This year more than ever has proven that, as "Soul" star Phylicia Rashad puts it in an exclusive new clip, "People make the community, and community is important."
"Soul," the upcoming Pixar film coming to Disney+ this Christmas, tells the story of Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a band teacher whose soul becomes separated from his body. He finds himself in The Great Before, where souls get their personalities before coming to Earth, and sets off on a journey to show 22, a soul voiced by Tina Fey, what's great about being a human.
A big part of Joe's human experience, the film explains, comes from the unique people and places in his New York City neighborhood.
"Joe's neighborhood formed him in the way a lot of city kids grow up where it's not just your immediate family that raises you," Fey explains in the clip. "You're brought up by everybody that you come into contact with in your neighborhood. Joe is still stopping by his mother's tailoring shop, and all the women that work there are like aunties and surrogate mothers to him."
A local barbershop also plays a role in Joe's community.
"You could go into that barbershop and you could talk about anything from love, laughter, anger or politics and feel comfortable that it's a good old-fashioned neighborhood where everybody knows your name," says Jamie Foxx.
"One of the things that 'Soul' does so well is celebrate how important it is to be a good member of your community and how some of the best work you will ever do in your life has to do with making the people around you's lives better," says Daveed Diggs. "Because when you share the load of living, it makes it easier."
Adds Foxx: "We really need to celebrate that -- being able to celebrate community, being able to celebrate love. This looks for the good. We're looking for the good in life. We're showing you Joe's smile. We're showing you Joe's energy, and he just wants to pass it on."
Check out the video above to hear more from the stars of "Soul" about the importance of community and being there for one another.
The cast also includes Questlove and Angela Bassett. The production team includes director Pete Docter, co-director Kemp Powers and producer Dana Murray.
"Soul" premieres exclusively on Disney+ on Dec. 25.
The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of Pixar and this station.