Disney’s Pixar “Soul” will have you questioning if you have one


Everyone goes through the phase where you question the meaning of life and what your soul purpose is. Am I destined to succeed as a star athlete who will one day play in the Super Bowl? Am I destined to stock shelves and scan commercial items at the local Walmart? Or is my purpose just to die at the ripe age of 32 with no accomplishments except for making my own bed? This is what Disney’s Pixar “Soul” conveys in a fun, sad, and kid-friendly way. In this Pixar movie, toys don’t talk to each other and a fish isn’t looking for his son across the ocean, instead, it’s about a middle-aged man who explores life before life and meets someone along the way which changes his perspective on everything.

Set in New York City, Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), a middle school music teacher, dreams of a career in Jazz. His mother (Phylicia Rashād) however disagrees with his dream, scared that he’ll run into some financial trouble just like his father. He soon gets a gig at a restaurant but falls in a manhole after rehearsing ultimately bringing him to the “afterlife”. He wakes up as a soul where he gets paired up with an “unborn” soul (Tina Fey) who doesn’t want to go to earth and together they learn the true meaning of life on Earth and what their true purposes are. 

The middle-aged Joe Gardner is voiced perfectly by Jamie Foxx, well known for his role in the hit movie “Ray.” His voice acting fit the role of Joe Gardner well and he expressed the emotions of Joe effectively. Tina Fey voiced the unborn soul, 22, outstandingly well and played the annoying, bratty role nicely. Phylicia Rashād voiced the character of Liddia Gardner exceptionally well too and made a convincing mom to Joe in the movie.

 This 1 hour and 47-minute movie was a roller coaster of emotions and brought an interesting idea of souls to the big screen. I really liked how the story revolved around a person of color and how this was one of Pixar’s first Black-led feature films. They portrayed the characters and the music perfectly as well as the setting of New York. One of my favorite scenes was when Joe got in “The zone” while playing the piano because it was animated perfectly to portray what being in “The Zone” feels like to musicians, dancers, and other careers. 

Pixar's Soul Clip: Joe Gardner Teaches Band and Tickles Ivories – /Film
Joe in “The zone” playing the piano. Disney/Pixar

There were tons of lessons taught in Soul and I believe that there is a lot to learn from this movie. I learned that you shouldn’t take life for granted and that you should appreciate every moment of it no matter how hard life gets just like how Joe began to appreciate his life more as the film progressed. I feel like Soul can teach kids and adults about their dreams and how they should stand for them in order for them to become a reality as well.

This movie is rated PG, but it’s actually aimed more at an adult audience. Kids however would still enjoy watching this film with its comedic and heartwarming storyline. Most Pixar films are about non-living things speaking and moving or about superheroes fighting to save the city to entertain the younger audiences. Soul rises above these movies and presents a deeper meaning to the story, as well as using its bright and cartoony animation to reach out to all audiences.

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