Pixar's newest release "Soul" is a movie that envelopes the watcher in their biggest contemplations about life with witty animation, humor and connection that cannot be expressed in any other way than spectacular.
The film stars Jamie Foxx as the lead role of Joe Gardner, a school music teacher with a passion for jazz. Tina Fey joins the cast as the supporting character, 22, a troubled soul that can’t seem to find her passion.
The movie starts off light-hearted looking into Joe Gardner’s life, appearing melodramatic at first. Then the opportunity of a lifetime arises for Joe, who cannot pass the opportunity to follow his dream. In the process, he goes on a wild ride to conquer questions that plague humanity today.
The all-ages cartoon dives deep into topics that many adults face, asking questions such as: What is our purpose? What is life? "Soul" amplifies that humans should live life to the fullest extent.
The idea of taking such complex topics is executed through little blue characters running around in the afterlife in a nonsensical way with moderators running the show, going by the names Jerry and Terry.
The complexity fits well with the setting of New York City while the characters are on Earth. New York City allows the individuality of each character to flow, letting the humor seep into each scene naturally and the city to compliment the actions of each character.
Jazz music is represented well by the liveliness of New York and allows Joe Gardner to have constant flashbacks and images of his childhood, bringing the film together. "Soul" compares past to future and connects the viewer on a deeper level.
Although the introduction of the film is based around jazz and music, I feel the music is symbolic of each person’s individual liking. Unlike other Disney Pixar films, there is no big focus on singing and the musical role. Jazz is a pathway to connect to the viewer’s individual passions.
The connection with the viewer is established early as Joe Gardner and 22 face similar issues as the viewer and their troubles draw each scene together, allowing the viewer to understand Joe Gardner’s situation much better and 22’s situation as well.
Each character faces their own issues, and this comes to clash as the metaphysical world and Earth collide in a very odd circumstance, but the organization of the events keeps the suspense high and the climax — which I don't want to spoil for those who haven't yet seen "Soul"— even more intriguing.
"Soul" is a movie that brings friendship, love, caring, selfishness, power and so many more sensitive subjects to light. The problems reflected by Joe and 22's characters are very human and relatable to those seeking their purpose in life.
I would recommend the movie to all ages, as it depicts quirky animation but serious topics about life and death.
"Soul" pulls on the heart strings and raises thoughts we choose not to address, facing harsh realities and important questions through deep connections, humor and self-improvement one note at a time.