Directors: Pete Docter & Kemp Powers
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alice Braga, Richard Ayoade, Phylicia Rashad, Donnell Rawlings, Questlove, and Angela Bassett
I am so glad that Disney and Pixar opted to put Soul on Disney Plus this Christmas as it really is the best Christmas present they could have given us. From director Peter Docter, who previously gave is Up, Inside Out and Monsters Inc., Soul could be seen as the final film in what I like to call the ‘Up and Out’ trilogy. I really do see Up, Inside Out and now Soul as a trilogy.
Each movie explores subjects that many people find very difficult to discuss in public. All three movies explore family life and the bond between children and their parents. However, if you look into each movie a bit more closely, then you’ll realise that they explore themes of depression, loneliness and death. These are themes that aren’t often seen in what you might call ‘children’s movies’.
However, I do believe these Pixar movies have gone beyond being just films for children. I would actually say that some of these films are a bit too ‘tough’ for some children, and maybe even some adults, and that’s what makes them not just good, but also important. Inside Out, for instance, gave me incredible insight into depression, and I feel like I came out of that movie knowing more about the struggles of depression than I did going in.
Pixar has done it again with Soul
I could say that same thing about Up, which is at its core about loneliness, and the need we human beings have to be surrounded by people we love. What I would say, however, as far as Soul is concerned, that I do believe this film is the weakest of Docter’s Pixar films. The reason I believe this is because I feel like the ending is a bit “forced”. I won’t go into the film’s ending because I don’t want to spoil things for you.
What I will say is that I think Pixar, Docter and his co-director, Kemp Powers. opted for the easy way out because they didn’t want this film to be too dark. It could be considered to be quite a dark and depressing film. I have seen many people online claim that the movie needs a WARNING message before watching it. After having seen the film, I can understand why some people might find it to be depressing to watch. However, I felt the opposite. I thought Soul was quite uplifting, which does tend to be a trend with Pixar films.
Pixar has put its ‘soul’ on show – and I’m glad they did
However, people do just tend to focus on the beginnings of Pixar’s films, which do tend to be very depressing. Up, Inside Out, WALL E and, yes, Soul, have quite depressing beginnings. However, these people do forget about the film’s endings, which are all very uplifting. I do believe that’s the case with Soul. It starts off being quite sad, however, it ends up being rather uplifting. That said, I do think they could have pushed the movie a bit, as I mentioned earlier, I feel like Docter and co. did opt to take the easy way out with this film.
I do realise that I’ve been writing about Soul without even talking about the film’s plot, so I’ll finish off by telling you what the film is about. The film follows Joe Gardner, a middle teacher with a love for jazz. However, his real dream is to become a famous jazz pianist, and after a successful audition, he books himself a gig at the Half Note Club that night. However, he ends up falling down an open man whole (yep, this movie is set in New York, so, it could happen…). Joe then ends up being transported to the great beyond, yet he does everything within his power to get back to his body so that he can do the gig. That’s the gist of the film’s plot, and I won’t say anything else about it because I don’t want to spoil anything.
What do you make of this review? Have you watched Soul yet on Disney Plus? Let us know your thoughts in the film in the comments below.
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