TERRELL, Texas — Disney-Pixar's animate film, "Soul," won an Oscar for Best Animated Film at the 93Rd Academy Awards on Sunday, April 25, 2021.
Terrell Independent School District alumni Eric Bishop, more commonly and professionally known as Jamie Foxx, made history in the film by becoming Pixar's first African American lead in one of its animated films.
"Blessed beyond measure," Foxx stated on Instagram. "Humbled in the moment. From Terrell Texas. Still that country boy. Never changing. Estelle Talley raised. @deondra1984 loved. My heart is full."
"I thought, wow, this is fantastic to be able to be in a Pixar film with so much groundbreaking potential and things like that," Foxx told ABC 7's Janet Davies in a December 2020 interview on his role in the film. "It was just great. My youngest daughter said, 'Dad you finally made it,' so, it was just amazing."
"So humbled and thankful!" Foxx said of his win on Sunday night. "To be part of this legendary Pixar film has been nothing short of amazing and now to be the first African-American lead in a Pixar film to win an Oscar is beyond my wildest dreams!!!"
"I don't think that it's just good enough just to be first African-American, we had to turn it into something fantastic and I believe that we did it," he said in an interview on The Program, an Australian talk show. "I'm so happy to be a part of it."
Terrell ISD extended a congratulations to the Terrell Tiger on Monday.
"Terrell ISD would like to extend a special Congratulations to a proud Terrell Tiger, Jamie Foxx, for continuing to make history in Hollywood," read, in part, a statement from the district.
Terrell ISD would like to extend a special Congratulations to a proud Terrell Tiger, Jamie Foxx, for continuing to make...Posted by Terrell ISD on Monday, April 26, 2021
In February, Foxx sent a video to Terrell ISD students for a virtual African American Read-in, celebrating Black History Month and emphasizing the importance of reading. In that video, Foxx read from Soul — the story of Joe Gardner, an African American middle school band teacher who lands a dreamt-of jazz gig at the Half Note Club in New York. Gardner, whose voice is played by Foxx, fell down a manhole and finds himself suddenly trapped in a strange land between Earth and the afterlife.
Foxx emphasized the fundamental importance of reading to students and said it would "open the doors of opportunity."