Soul is the latest film from animation giant Pixar. They have been known as the top of the mountain of animation for about twenty years or so now. Their films have won multiple Academy Awards. And few of them have been nominated for Best Picture as well. Soul is a legitimate contender for another Best Picture nomination and is the front-runner for the Academy Award for Best Animated feature for 2020.
Joe (Jamie Foxx) is a mild-mannered music teacher in New York City. He has felt he deserves better than this mundane life. When an accident happens, his life is changed forever. He is transported into a world between life and death. While there he meets a plucky fellow soul, 22 (Tina Fey) looking for a purpose. If he can help her it might lead him to have the life he envisioned for himself in the future.
Pete Doctor is a prolific director for Pixar. He has directed Up, Wall-E, and Monsters, Inc. over the last 20 years of his career working for Disney/Pixar. His films have been critically acclaimed and have made a lot of money for Disney. This time around, his film Soul has been relegated to Disney+, the streaming service owned and operated by Disney. This doesn’t mean the film isn’t great because it is. This is just a new way to see movies because of social distancing and COVID-19 protocols. With home entertainment systems these days, people can get the theater experience at home.
Pixar films have usually had deeper meanings. These films have to appeal to children as well as adults, so all audiences young and old can enjoy them. The plot of this film has some very kid-friendly scenes as well as scenes that leave adults thinking about their own lives. I’m sure a lot of people have pondered their life existence in the past. So this film is relatable to many people watching. Of course, the kids will enjoy the goofy body-swapping angle to the film and the gorgeous Pixar animation.
Pixar has cornered the market on animation over the last twenty years. As the years have gone by, their animation style has even gotten better. They have layering now that builds up the backgrounds of their films. These films have a depth to them like any other film. The scenes of Joe walking through New York are breathtaking. Pixar has done it again with this amazing computer animation. They are still at the top of their game.
Soul has a story of finding one’s direction in life. What are we all meant for is not always an easy one to determine in life? This film asks and answers those questions. It has a great message for anyone struggling with their life choices and so forth. Even though it was on a streaming service, the message is loud and clear. Just be you and the rest will come, don’t try to be someone you’re not, and treat people well. That is a good motto for life.
Dan Skip Allen