Joe Gardner is the protagonist of Pixar's upcoming 2020 animated feature film Soul.


Joe Gardener was a middle school band teacher who has long dreamed of performing jazz music onstage, and finally gets a chance after impressing other jazz musicians during an opening act at the Half Note Club. As he was celebrating his new gig, he accidentally fell down a manhole. This put him in a coma, a state where he is neither alive not dead, thus sending his soul to the Great Before (the place between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead). There, he meets a soul with a dim view of life named 22, who he finds himself mentoring. Now with 22's help, he must find his way back to his body and thus wake up from the coma, before time runs out and he fully dies.

Physical appearance

As a human, he is African-American with a black mustache and has black-rimmed glasses on to see better. He wears a grey fedora, a black sweater, brown pants, and red shoes.

As a soul, his nose is not featured but his glasses and fedora are now part of him.


  • He's the first African-American protagonist in a Pixar film.


v - e - d
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Joe Gardner22 • Curly • Mrs. Gardner • Paul • Dorothea Williams • Connie • Terry
New York City • You Seminar • The Great Before • The Great Beyond
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