With each Pixar film release, we find a new movie to love and to make us cry. But in a year with 2 releases that are so unlike anything they have ever made before – will Soul make the cut compared to the others? The only other Pixar release that is almost similar in how cerebral Soul is Inside Out, dealing with the emotions inside all of us. But Soul takes it a bit further and takes you to the afterlife.
Soul follows Joe Gardner, a middle school band teacher who dreams of bigger things. He’s convinced that his sole purpose in life is to be a jazz musician, and after he’s given the chance of a lifetime – he dies. His fight to get back to his life and return to what he thinks is his only purpose is what drives him through the whole movie. While Joe is trying to get back to his body, he unexpectedly becomes a mentor to 22 – a soul who hasn’t found her spark to go down to Earth yet, despite having hundreds (if not more) mentors throughout her time. In a mishap, both end up on Earth again, in a way neither wants – and they work together to get where each one wants to go.
With a voice cast including Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Richard Ayoade and several others that the whole family will recognize the movie will capture your attention and heart. Add in the music from Jon Batiste and it helps transport you to another world.
What About the Death Scene?
Most Pixar movies have a dark element somewhere in it. It’s the spark that makes viewers relate to it. Since the movie focuses on following Joe to the afterlife, obviously that means he dies in the movie. His actual death, and that of other beings in the movie aren’t shown violently or graphically at all. In fact, if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve already seen how Joe dies – he falls down a manhole while not paying attention. That is exactly how it is shown in the movie and he then goes into the afterlife.
We’re Talking about the Afterlife – Can’t that Get Preachy?
Not at all. Thankfully Soul doesn’t touch on religion or anything like that. It’s pretty much life and the afterlife. There is no mention of a higher power, of any religion or anything at all. There is a mention of being “in the zone” and how that can be a spiritual experience.
This actually makes the movie more accessible to a lot of different audiences, and despite the holiday release doesn’t touch on any religion in particular.
Is Soul Too Dark for a Family Movie?
This is a valid concern for any movie dealing with death. But thankfully, Soul isn’t dark all of the time. There are a few moments that are a bit darker – dealing with the lost souls in particular – that might be a bit dark or scary. But overall Soul is a light movie that has a great message for viewers of all ages.
Let’s Talk about that Animation Though!
One thing we know about any Pixar film – animation is amazing. There are moments in the film in both the real world and afterworld that are absolutely breath taking. From the animating of the characters actually playing musical instruments – watch for fingers on the keys of pianos or saxophones moving as they play the right notes, to sweeping views of the cities. The animation is beyond what we see in other films and in both major locations the attention to detail is amazing.
Soul has a sweet message at the heart of the movie and will be one that pulls at those heartstrings. Although the movie is so unlike any other movie from Pixar so far, the amazing story and animation instantly draw you into it. We couldn’t think of any better words to describe Soul but bizarre and beautiful, but we do think the message is one that will resonate with a lot of people this year.
Disney Pixar’s Soul will be available on Disney+ on Christmas day. This is not a premiere release and included in regular subscriptions. Be sure to check it out on Friday!
What is it that makes you…YOU? This June, Pixar Animation Studios’ all-new feature film “Soul” introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) – a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep take shim form the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical 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 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover answers to some of life’s most important questions. Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Doctor (“Inside Out,” “Up”), co-directed by Kemp Powers (“One Night in Miami”) and produced by Academy Award nominee Dana Murray (Pixar short “Lou”), Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” opens in U.S. theaters on June 19, 2020. (DISNEY/PIXAR)
This film is not yet rated.