Pixar’s Soul follows jazz pianist and teacher Joe Gardener (Jamie Foxx) and his near-death experience, which brings him to the afterlife. The 100-minute-long animated film is reminiscent of Pixar’s 2015 film, Inside Out. This review contains spoilers so if you haven’t watched the movie yet, I recommend you do before reading on.
The plot starts with our main character Joe Gardener, a middle school jazz teacher, wanting to do more. After securing the gig of his dreams, he falls down a manhole and arrives at “The Great Beyond” and later “The Great Before,” also known as the “You Seminar.” Here he meets an unborn soul, 22 (Tina Fey). Soul 22 claims to have been at the “You Seminar” for thousands of years, unable to start her life on Earth because she hasn’t found her spark. Desperate to return to Earth, Joe accidentally arrives back in New York but a slight mishap occurs- 22 comes with him.
Soul is available on Disney+. I wholeheartedly recommend watching it. It’s a movie you can enjoy by yourself, with your family or friends, and perfect for any occasion. The ending, though, left me wanting more information. There wasn’t anything wrong with it as the movie concluded with another heart-touching moment. Yet, I was left with unanswered questions. I wanted to see what happened to 22, what path Joe takes, and will 22 and Joe ever meet again? I would have preferred an ending that showed their lives after this whole adventure, nonetheless, I was satisfied with how it finished.
The references and journey are great for an older audience, but I can’t help but wonder if younger children will find this film quite as entertaining as the typical Disney movie. Among the mature topics, the movie tip-toes around the ideas of mortality and questions the meaning of life. The animation, script and soundtrack make it one of my favorite Pixar works to date. It has its funny moments, its inspiring moments… it just has SOUL.