Pixar’s Soul centers on Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a middle-school music teacher, who dreams of being a performing musician, like his father. He finally lands the gig of his dreams and is so lost in thought, he misses an open manhole and drops through.
He awakes in a strange dark room and quickly finds out he’s stuck between living and dead, reduced to just his soul. But instead of The Great Beyond, he finds himself in The Great Before, an imaginative pastel place where new souls form before they go to Earth.
Joe is assigned to be a mentor to a baby soul named 22 (voiced by Tina Fey) that has no intention of heading to an earthly body. In fact, she considers it her mission to break her mentors.
When an attempt by Joe to escape back to his body causes a huge mishap that causes both of them to return to earth in the wrong bodies, both end up learning lessons about what life is really about.
Soul is a lovely film about finding your purpose…your spark…that makes life worth living.
But the movie deals in a lot of metaphors that may not connect with some viewers, and aside from some sight gags, the movie may be a little too philosophical for younger kids.
It also explores the weight of family expectations, and following your dreams despite them.
I also loved Joe’s passion for music, especially the improv nature of jazz. The scene where he describes why he loves it so much really connected with my own love of music.
From the first notes of the school band playing the Walt Disney theme song, Soul will take you on a journey about what it really means to find your purpose in life.
It’s not for everyone, but I found Soul to be another introspective gem in the Pixar catalog, similar to Inside Out.
I’m giving Pixar’s Soul a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It debuts today on Disney+.
Director: Pete Docter, Kemp Powers
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Alice Braga, Richard Ayoade, Phylicia Rashad, Donnell Rawlings, Questlove, Angela Bassett
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