As if “Inside Out” wasn’t enough to get the tears falling, Disney Pixar’s “Soul,” released over the holidays exclusively to Disney+, takes the viewer on a trip that begs the question: what exactly is life all about?
Middle school band director Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) longs for more from his life. An aspiring professional jazz pianist, Gardner is presented with two career opportunities on the same day: a full-time teaching position and, thanks to Curly (Questlove), a former student, a permanent place in a jazz combo..
After earning his spot in the combo, Joe is so excited that he hardly pays attention to what’s happening around him…and falls down a manhole which knocks his physical self into a coma, and his soul into a more abstract realm.
Joe escapes the crazy conveyer belt to “The Great Beyond,” and lands in “The Great Before,” a place for new souls to grow and learn their purpose before being sent to Earth. Joe is mistaken for a mentor and is paired up with 22 (Tina Fey), a plucky, if not difficult, soul.
Together, Joe and 22 end up on Earth, and here is where the viewer starts to see the world in a different way: from a new soul’s perspective: Joe.
As for myself, “Soul”, with its incredibly talented Black actors like Foxx and Questlove, and the music, composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross eloquently displays both the gritty and soulful nature of jazz and the ethereal openness of the “Great Beyond”. Seeing all the amazing colors, images, and all the actors that were in this movie made it really fun to watch with family. I enjoyed seeing how the little things can bring someone so much joy in life other than all the extra things that bring them joy for only a small amount of time. By watching “Soul”, I realized that I should enjoy the time I have with my family rather than waste it away doing things that I don’t actually want to do.
I’m rating SOUL 5/5 slices of pizza for the way it made me both laugh and cry. I enjoy the way Disney Pixar also hides adult humor in their movies that only parents can find funny.
Watch “Soul” on Disney+.