All I need to tell you about Soul is that it’s a Pixar movie. I know you probably heard about it but if you’re reading this in 2022 or sometime in the future, you might have missed it. Relatively quickly after their last movie, Onward, we are treated to another phenomenal animated movie. It’s much more complex and it might one of the most serious and mature work Pixar has ever done. In development since 2016 and it examines human nature and determinism. The atmosphere is a bit more foreboding than we’re used to when it comes to their movies, but the subject it examines required it. The animation style is also a bit more artistic and surreal, again something that fits in so nicely with the rest of the themes explored here.
Soul, as its title reveals, uses music to examine these things and make us question our preconceived notions about life, destiny and ultimately, death. It also deals with an obsessively compulsive need to have a purpose in life and what it means to lead a fulfilled life. Masterfully written and structured, it’s not forcing certain conclusions and opinions down your throat but leaves you to draw your own conclusions. I think that it’s perhaps most useful to young parents although every one of us living this thing called life can learn a thing or two here. Unlike some other times, I will resist the need to bore you with my philosophical findings, as you’ve probably read them in other reviews on this site.
Meet Joe Gardner, a middle-school music teacher living in New York and dreaming about performing in front of huge crowds. He’s a very talented musician, excellent teacher and an all-around good guy. Maybe exactly because of this, he didn’t get his break. However, good things come to those who wait and a former student soon invites him to play with a really good band. This is Joe’s most important day in his life and he needs to be extra careful not to fuck it up. As luck would have it….
All this being said, don’t think that this is some serious drama without humor or good atmosphere. Soul is filled with awesome and uplifting music and this is coming from someone who’s not really into soul and jazz. The characters are funny and likable and you’ll soon have your favorites although all of them are really good. Starring Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey and Graham Norton, the cast was great. So, if you’re up for something different and thought-provoking I recommend you check out Soul. It’s an imaginative and mature movie that will perhaps make your life just a little bit better. Sure, it’s not as entertaining as let’s say Inside Out or some of the other movies but it’s definitely worth watching. Enjoy.
Directors: Pete Docter, Kemp Powers
Writers: Pete Docter, Kemp Powers, Mike Jones
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alice Braga, Richard Ayoade, Phylicia Rashad, Donnell Rawlings, Angela Bassett
Fun Facts: Pixar chose to portray the film’s main character as a musician, because they wanted a “profession the audience could root for,” and settled for a musician after trying for a scientist, which “[didn’t feel] so naturally pure as a musician’s life.” Pete Docter described Soul as “an exploration of: Where should your focus be? What are the things that, at the end of the day, are really going to be the important things that you look back on and go, ‘I spent a worthy amount of my limited time on Earth worrying or focused on that’