Disney’s Soul is a movie that was expected to release on October 20th of 2020. However, due to COVID-19 protocols, it was postponed until Christmas of last year. The film is a Pixar Animation piece directed by Pete Docter (responsible for Monster’s Inc & Inside Out) along with others such as Dana Murray & Mike Jones.
The story takes place in New York City, where the main character, Joe Gardener, played by Jamie Foxx, is a middle aged band teacher at a local high school within the city. Though it seems as if Gardener has obtained a sense of stability with a teaching job offering medical benefits as well as pension, he still seems to appear as if he’s missing a certain piece of the puzzle: his life-long dream of becoming a jazz performer. When Gardener gets the opportunity to fulfill this dream out of the blue from a former student, he becomes over ecstatic and missteps into a fatal incident that separates his soul from his body. Joe finds himself in another dimension called the “Great Beyond” almost like a purgatory in between life and the afterlife. In an effort to regain control of his own body, he transfers over into the “Great Before” where souls are being prepared to enter the real world. It is there that he encounters another soul named “22” who has no intentions of going to Earth. When assigned to “22” as a mentor with the goal of discovering exactly what her purpose may be, Joe and the spirit embark on a tumultuous journey in an effort to not only give Joe a chance to live out his dream, but essentially discover what each other’s true reason for living is.
The film is second to none in terms of quality of animation. Everything about each character is detailed, from their mannerisms, to their movements and even the subtle expressions on their face. The use of seasoned veteran voices like Jamie Foxx and Angela Bassett also help to provide a sense of what the life and culture of an African-American jazz player in the heart of New York may actually be like. The plot is filled with twists and turns, as well as a couple of sentimental lessons that can be palleted by not only children but also adults. A $150 million dollar budget well spent.
Overall the rating most appropriate for this film would be 9 out of 10.