Pixar’s “Soul” Review
“Soul” is Pixar’s latest animated movie and is arriving on Disney+ on Christmas Day, having missed both of its theatrical release dates due to Covid, which means everyone with a Disney+ subscription will be able to enjoy this lovely movie together.
In “Soul”, we are introduced to Joe Gardner, who is played by Jamie Foxx, and Joe is a middle-school band teacher who is at a crossroads in his life when he is offered a full-time position at the school, but wants to follow his heart when he gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town.
But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to the gates to the afterlife. However, Joe doesn’t want to go as he has finally got his big break, so he makes a break for it and ends up at the Great Before – which is a weird place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth.
Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22, who is played by Tina Fey, who has never understood the appeal of the human experience and has spent much of her life annoying the greatest people in our history. They head to Earth where 22 learns about what’s great about living, while Joe discovers the answers to some of life’s most important questions.
Over the years, Pixar has been very successful at telling interesting stories about major issues that face us and much like “Coco”, it dives into the meaning of life and death.
“Soul” is one of Pixar’s more mature films, dealing with some really deep questions about why we are here and I’m sure most of this might go over younger viewers heads, but Pixar includes lots of cute and adorable character designs to soften everything, so it feels safe and cosy. Through in a little surprise when they arrive on Earth, which I won’t ruin, that does deliver some funny moments for younger audiences.
Joe loves music and Jazz, he thinks that’s why he is on Earth, and it’s a constant theme throughout the movie, so it makes sense why the film is jam-packed with some fantastic music as it has an incredible soundtrack that fits the character and story perfectly.
The movie also looks stunning; the scenes on Earth are extremely realistic, especially the backgrounds and little things like how the character’s hair looks so lifelike. Then the scenes in “Great Before” are the absolute opposite, bright colours with some extremely odd 2D characters who could have come straight out of the abstract scene in Inside Out. “Soul” is just visually stunning on so many different levels and shows how much Pixar has grown over the years.
It’s hard to not to compare “Soul” to “Inside Out”, since they both had the same director and there are many elements that fill similar. In the “Great Before”, we see the “House Of You”, where we get to see a museum of your greatest and worst moments, along with a huge area where you find the one thing that gives you a spark, be it sport, food, music. All of which will make you think about your life and what you love. Which is pretty deep for an “animated” film to get viewers to do.
This movie will make you think about your life, about what it is you enjoy, what you hate, what you want to do differently and that’s the beauty of “Soul”. It knows exactly where it wants to take the viewer, showing why the smallest little things can bring joy to your life.
“Soul” is a lovely movie, which the whole family can enjoy together this Christmas, especially older viewers who will probably get much more out of the storyline than children. This is a return to form for Pixar, as some of their more recent movies have lost that special touch, which is great to see back with “Soul”.
Rating 4 out of 5