Soul is Truly a Soul-Enriching Movie


On December 25th, Pixar and Disney released their newest animated film, Soul, on the streaming platform Disney+. This is the first Pixar film to be solely released on Disney+ as well as the first Pixar film to have an African American protagonist. It starred actors and actresses such as Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, and was directed by Pete Docter. Docter has directed various Pixar movies like Up and Inside Out

The protagonist is Joe Gardner, voiced by Jamie Foxx. Gardner is a middle school band teacher who does not enjoy his profession as his dream is to be a jazz pianist. He lands an important gig, but before he can play, he falls down a ditch. Joe realizes that he is about to die, and that his soul is being transported to the Great Beyond, a place where dead souls go to. He attempts to escape but lands in the Great Before, where souls gain their traits before being born. He is presumed to be a mentor for an unruly soul, 22, voiced by Tina Fey. Joe and 22 attempt to escape to Earth, in hopes that Joe will live again, and that 22 will find her true purpose. 

This movie does a great job of addressing complex subject matters in a way that children can appreciate and adults can enjoy. Joe’s struggle with accomplishing enough in his life before he dies is something that any adult can relate to. Also, the inclusion of concepts like the Great Beyond helps illustrate ideas such as the afterlife and death for a younger audience. I also appreciated how much effort was placed into the animation. The animation for the souls and the otherworldly settings matches the abstract nature of the concepts being covered.

There are many interesting scenes, but one that particularly stands out is  when Joe revisits all of his old memories. Joe sits alone, by his piano, disappointed that even after he achieves his life goal of getting a full-time gig, it was not how he expected it to be. However, as he begins to look at keepsakes that he had collected on his adventures with 22, he realizes how the little keepsakes he carried brought so much joy to him because of all the happy memories he associated with them, and he slowly remembers all the joyous moments in his life. The animation in these scenes are simplistic, showing only Joe and his piano, along with several objects. It shows the major idea that is portrayed in the movie, that any small thing in life can bring someone joy. 

Soul is an amazing movie that shows viewers what makes life wonderful in a way that any audience can understand and appreciate. A plot filled with twists, heartwarming scenes, and intriguing animation combine to create a fulfilling experience for the viewer. 

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars