By James Davidson
“Soul” is Disney Pixar’s newest film that debuted on the Disney+ streaming service on Christmas Day 2020. It follows the story of Joe (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a musician who works part time as a middle school band teacher. Joe has lost his passion for life and is just going through the motions before one of his former students calls him with the opportunity of a lifetime. Joe auditions to play for a prestigious jazz group and lands the part, finally getting his big break that he has been waiting for. Unfortunately, on his way home from the audition, Joe falls down a manhole and his soul is separated from his body. Joe is determined to get back into his body in order to play in his big gig. With the help of an infant soul, 22 (Tina Fey), he hilariously attempts to locate and reenter his body.
This movie is a new instant Disney classic, it has a wonderfully written story with some solid voice acting. It adds just the right amount of humor to keep the story from getting too dark, yet the story is complex and can get deep in places. While it’s not the best Pixar film that Disney has put out; it is a solid, fun movie that the entire family will love watching again and again.
For me, the writing in this movie steals the show. The writers were able to perfectly blend just the right amount of humor and gratification with complexity and a story that got existential in parts. The film gets into some deep philosophical questions like the meaning of life and what creates joy in people in different ways, and is able to do it in a simple and fun way that doesn’t overwhelm the viewer.
The animation in this film is very typical of Disney Pixar movies. Unfortunately I think that this makes the film difficult to set apart from other movies made by the same company. I would have liked to see a slightly different animation style or something to set this film apart from other animated movies. The art isn’t bad, it just isn’t special either.
This movie is rated PG for thematic elements and some language. This is a great family film and everyone in the family will find something that they like about it. It’s a must watch for all families and one of the best family films to come out this year. It’s appropriate for all ages and all ages should find it entertaining. In my opinion it is the second best family film of the year, right behind “Onward”.
“Soul” is a wonderful family film that is an instant classic. It perfectly blends humor and incredible writing with some profound themes. The entire family will find this film entertaining and enjoy the jokes and relate to Joe’s or 22’s life. While this movie has a hard time separating itself from the rest of the Disney Pixar pack, it keeps some pretty prestigious company. It earns 4 out of 5 stars.