Happy New Year everybody! Soul is the 23rd Pixar movie and it’s also the first Pixar movie to release on Disney+ instead of a theatrical release. I can’t really blame Pixar for making this choice considering what’s been going on. Soul is kind of a mix between Inside Out (same director) and Coco. Soul is about a music teacher named Joe Gardner who finally gets a big gig but dies shortly after. He ends up in the great before where he meets a soul named 22 who doesn’t see the point of Earth. Both work together to help Joe get back to Earth and to his gig.
Joe Gardner and 22 played by Jamie Fox and Tina Fey work off each other very well and work as great foils. Pixar really knows how to make a great duo. I love how 22 finds so much enjoyment in little things like pizza or falling leaves and in the end makes Joe realize just how special little moments like those are special. Speaking of which, Soul may be one of the more adult Pixar movies because of its existential themes. This movie makes you question the difference between passion and purpose. The whole concept of lost souls is a great representation of obsession. I will admit the whole idea of your personality being set before birth was kind of odd. I just always felt that people’s interests are from their own choices instead of being chosen from a system.
I’ve said before that Pixar always has great animation two things stood out to me in this movie One is that Soul is probably the most realistic looking Pixar movie especially the scenes that take place in New York City. Two is the animation on the Jerrys. I really like there designs and the way they move. I was surprised that this movie had some really good comedy. One of my favorite jokes was when 22 mentions mentors giving up on her and we cutaway to a montage of those mentors getting pissed at 22. The way these jokes are executed reminds me a lot of the cutaway gags from Family Guy. I would be surprised if they took inspiration from that show.
Soul is one of the best movies of 2020 and a great Christmas present from Pixar. I am grateful that I was able to see it this year even if it wasn’t on the big screen. It’s a Pixar movie full of both passion, purpose, and of course a lot of soul put into it. However I do have to ask, where the heck was John Ratzenberger?!
+Joe and 22