The latest movie from Pixar Animation Studios, “Soul,” released on Disney Plus over winter break and it did not disappoint. The film has all the heart and soul you would expect from a Pixar movie.
While the first 2020 Pixar release, “Onward,” felt more like your standard fantasy animated adventure. “Soul” makes the viewer think deeper and feels much more like what you could expect from the creators of “Coco” and “Toy Story.”
“Soul” follows a middle school band teacher named Joe Gardner, voiced by Jamie Foxx. He just wants to get his big break and make it big as a piano player but has been rejected over and over again.
One day however he learns that there is an opening in Dorothea Williams’ jazz band and auditions for it, he gets accepted but on his way home to share the news he dies. You read that right, a fun-filled family animated movie begins with the death of the main character.
Yet he does not want to go and he escapes into the great before, the area where souls get their personalities before heading off into the world. What ensues is a crazy adventure that explores what it means to be alive.
Joe Gardner teams up with a soul named 22, voiced by Tina Fey, and together they attempt to reunite Gardner with his body so he can live again. You will laugh, you will cry and you will really think.
Pixar loves to explore deep concepts with the mask of a fun-filled family adventure and “Soul” is no different. While a young kid may enjoy the fun adventure and laugh along with the characters, older people will be able to think about the deep undertones of what it means to be alive and what gives you life.
Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey deliver strong performances in the lead. Joining them is a star-studded cast that includes Daveed Diggs and Angela Bassett.
The performances are strong, and the story is even stronger. While it may not hit the heights of “Toy Story” or “Coco” it still will leave you thinking.
This film is also momentous because it is the first Pixar movie with an African American protagonist. It is sad that due to COVID-19 this film had to debut on Disney Plus instead of on the big screen but hopefully that does not stop people from checking it out.
Even if the story may be too deep for some people there is plenty of jazz music and fun visuals to keep everyone entertained. Movies like this are not for everyone but for those who enjoy a deeper look at life under the mask of an animated adventure should look no further, as this movie was made for you.
With “Coco” and “Soul” Pixar now has two movies about the afterlife, maybe we will get a third one. They do say good things come in threes.
“Soul” can be found on Disney Plus.