“Soul” Review


Kevin Travers, Staff Reporter

Disney Pixars, “Soul,” is an exceptional movie that highlights the importance of living in the moment and things on earth that we take for granted. This film uses great music, likeable characters, an interesting plot, and scenes that make the audience think to themselves about a possible deeper meaning.

This movie is a historical moment in Pixar history as the main character, Joe Gardner, is the first black Pixar protagonist played by Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx. “Soul” joins a select animated movie group becoming one of four animated movies to have a black main character.

The storyline of this movie had a standout scene at the beginning when Joe falls into an open sewer pipe and dies within the first 10 minutes. This happens as he is heading home after hearing he will be living out his dream of playing with his favorite jazz musician. The move to kill Joe off was questionable, a lot of Disney’s animated movies are predominantly watched by kids and they tend to idolize main characters. What message is killing off the main character chasing his dreams gonna send?

Aside from that flaw, I loved this movie and the relationships between the characters that pushed the story along. One of the souls in the movie named 22, played by Tina Fey, from the fantasy world called “ the great before” is an energetic, witty, and upbeat character that originally gives Joe a hard time but as the movie progresses becomes friends with Joe. 

This bond helps them learn more about themselves and life in general. In the middle of the movie Joe is helped by another soul named Moonwind, Moonwind helps Joe find his body so that he can get back to his normal life. A mistake happens in the process and 22 and Joe both fall into the portal, but 22 falls into Joe’s body and Joe falls into the therapy cat that was resting on his bed.

This forces 22 to adapt and listen to Joe in hopes of finding a way to get Joe back into his body. Throughout the journey 22, finds her purpose from the experiences she had while in Joe’s body. Through this process Joe learned to enjoy every minute of life and not take anything for granted whether it’s something as small as walking down the street or cloud watching. I love the message movie put out because life really is short and it’s important that we live in the moment and don’t take the small stuff for granted.

The music that was put in the movie was fantastic, I’m not usually a huge fan of jazz music, but for this movie it fit along perfectly with the storyline as Joe is a middle school band teacher. A clever part of the movie I noticed was for the iconic Disney music intro they used an audio of the middle schoolers playing it but messing up the notes to add a comedic effect. 

All of Joe’s piano performances were played by Jon Batiste, who was the music director for Stephen Colbert. Batiste did a great job highlighting classical jazz music and the impact that it had on all the characters, particularly Joe.

I had high expectations before watching the movie after hearing from friends and social media that the movie was great. This could have created a possible bias towards me liking the movie but I can say that the movie wasn’t totally perfect as I mentioned earlier.

I watched the movie twice to make sure that I wasn’t missing anything and to make sure I was getting the full experience. The second watch through I definitely picked up on more of the jokes that I didn’t originally get as well as a lot of the hidden symbolism embedded into the movie.

This movie was definitely worth the 1:47 runtime. The creative story line, great music, interesting and funny characters, and the deeper meaning make this a great movie that is worth every second.