- Busra Yildirim, reporter
‘Soul’ Review: A Movie Full of Inspiration
The new Pixar animation, “Soul,” captivates the heart of not just children, but also adults because of its inspiring message. “Soul”, directed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers and co-written with Mike Jones, expands beyond the typical settings of Pixar movies. Part of it takes place in New York and the other part takes place in a metaphysical setting.
The movie starts off with Joe Gardner, played by Jamie Foxx, listening to his student’s jazz performance. Joe’s dream is to perform on stage. However, to keep his mother happy, he decides to take a job that has a definite pay. The audience learns that Joe inspires a lot of his students because of his passion when his former student calls him to perform for a hip jazz saxophonist Dorthea Williams, played by Angela Bassett. Joe impresses Dorthea with his piano rendition and is told he could perform with the band.
Joe is ecstatic about the gig, but it quickly vanishes when he falls down to his death into an open manhole.
Joe finds himself going towards the Great Beyond, which is where people go to after death. As soon as he realizes where the Great Beyond is leading him to, he runs off and ends up in the Great Before.
In the Great Before, souls are assigned personalities and passions before they are sent to Earth. Joe meets a stubborn soul named 22 played by Tina Fey. He is assigned to be her mentor to help her find her spark. Joe and 22’s time together consists of humorous incidents, arguments, and valuable lessons.
What makes this movie so special? The animation delves into an enigmatic but simple principle: enjoy the small things in life. People focus so much on the past and the future that they forget to live in the present. The movie reminds the audience that they should not lose themselves in pursuit of their goals.
“Soul” is also the first animated film featuring Pixar’s first black lead character. Some people criticize the movie due to Joe, the main character, spending most of his time as a bodiless blob instead of in his body.
Also, in part of the movie his body is voiced by a white woman. A petition was created online on Change.org that calls on Pixar to “STOP Animation Trope that Dehumanizes Black Characters.” This creates a lot of discussion about how diversity should be represented in films.
Overall, the movie has received good feedback from movie critics and is acclaimed as an inspiring movie by both children and adults. “Soul” captivates its audience with its beautiful animation, galvanizing message, and portrayal of the real world.