[Review] “Soul” Becomes Pixar’s Deepest and Darkest Film


Premiering on December 25, 2020, Pixar’s Soul movie invites us to think more deeply about our life’s journey. Inevitably, among other Pixar films, Soul has the deepest theme.

Don’t worry, you still find a lot of things that became Pixar’s patent moves. Cool animations are obvious. Likewise the world is full of color and imagination. You’ll also find funny and sad scenes (Pixar is good at this).

But this time it seems Pixar — through director Pete Docter (assisted by Kemp Powers) — is leaning towards a more mature audience.

Very Philosophical Story
Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) becomes a music teacher to make ends meet, while having yet to find the opportunity to fulfill his dream as a jazz musician. The opportunity came when he was able to join the popular jazz band Dorothea William Quartet. However, when he came home from the audition and was happy, he fell into a sewer hole.

This is quite surprising. Within a few minutes of watching this film, we are immediately faced with the problem of death. Pixar has indeed talked about death through the film Coco , but the point of view is different.

As he regains consciousness, Joe sees he is on a path to the Great Beyond (the illustrations are a bit reminiscent of the game Sky: Children of the Light ). Feeling that he still has to pursue his dream as a musician, he runs away and falls into the territory of the Great Before , where young souls are preparing to descend to earth.

There he meets 22 (Tina Fey), a stubborn soul. 22 hasn’t come down to earth because he hasn’t found the “spark” to get the “Earth Ticket.” Joe and 22 agree to work together, with Joe helping 22 get the “spark,” but it’s Joe who will use the “Earth Ticket” to return.

At this point, you may have guessed the next storyline. But Pixar still gives an interesting twist . So even if you have an idea for the big plot, what happens is still hard to predict.

Children who watch this film may be entertained by many funny scenes from the behavior of the characters. But the theme of the Soul movie can hit mature audiences right in the face.

Starting from “life is not fair”, like Joe who almost achieved his dream, but the dream was snatched back, Pixar presents various questions about the meaning of life. What do we want to do in this life? Have we lived our lives according to our talents and desires? Are we happy? But how do we judge that happiness? As you can see, the questions are very deep.

Imagination Keeps Entertaining
But Pixar is still Pixar. They can present this deep theme through a flowing story and a wild imagination.

Just look at the natural depiction of the Great Before . A bit reminiscent of the film Inside Out , Pixar presents the world with a variety of nuances. Starting from free translations about nature outside of life to unique illustrations.

You can also see the comical behavior of each character. Well, this comical behavior is a typical weapon for animated films. But Pixar has always been able to combine this comical behavior with an emotional story.

In addition to the cool visuals, the accompanying music for this film is also cool. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross returned to show their class as composers, and were assisted by Joe Baptiste who presented jazz music that was fun and could be enjoyed by all ages.

Overall, this Soul film from Pixar and Disney provides enjoyable entertainment. Soul may not be as emotional as some of Pixar’s other films, such as Toy Story , Up , or WALL-E . This film also probably won’t be as classic as Finding Nemo . But Soul reinforces the side that has been ushered in by Inside Out before.

The film Soul was originally set to be released on June 19, 2020 in theaters. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the film was delayed and switched to release on the Disney+ streaming service on December 25, 2020.


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