Movie Review: Pixar’s Soul

Over the weekend I finally watched Soul, the new Pixar movie streaming on Disney Plus, that came out on Christmas. Starring Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, Soul is about how a person’s soul or personality is formed and unique to each individual person. The protagonist, Joe Gardner, is a middle school band teacher in New York City who is passionate about jazz and playing the piano. After finally booking a gig with Dorthea Williams’s band, Joe is thrilled. So ecstatic that he calls everyone he knows and tells them the news, distracted by his enthusiasm Joe falls into a manhole. Joe goes to the hospital, but his soul goes to The Great Beyond, “a post existence place of life where deceased souls keep their personalities, traits, and interests after leaving the Earth.” This idea terrifies Joe, so he escapes it and lands in The Great Before, “a place where unborn souls reside, informing who they’ll eventually be when they get to Earth.” Joe is determined to return back to his life in time to play with Dorthea Williams’s jazz band. While in the Great Before, Joe is assigned to be a mentor to 22, a feisty soul who has been stuck in the Great Before for years and years. Joe and 22 work together to get back to where they want to be, but new discoveries may change their fate. 

A pivotal moment in the movie is when Joe sees what his life was when he is in the Great Before. He realizes that his life is worthless, and it makes him more set on returning back to his body. Soul is an engaging film that teaches viewers to appreciate and live every day of your life, and not take it for granted. It was also refreshing to watch an animated film with people of color. Animated films and films, in general, continue to lack diversity. It is Pixar’s first feature film starring a black character, and it’s crazy that it took this long. It is important that there is black representation in animation. 

 It’s a powerful message, and like every Pixar movie, it’s emotional. Surprisingly, I didn’t cry, but I was very close. It was fun to watch a new Pixar movie, and although it didn’t compare to watching it in the movie theater, it was still a pleasant experience. If you have Disney Plus, I would recommend giving it a watch since it’s entertaining and will leave you satisfied and motivated to live life to the fullest. 

Martha Heffernan

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