The recently released Disney Pixar movie, "Soul," follows a middle-aged man, Joe, voiced by Jamie Foxx, on his journey to find life's true meaning when his own life was tragically cut short during the first ten minutes of the film. This Pixar movie has had great feedback and outstanding praise. When I went to watch Soul on Disney+, I had high expectations, but ended up struggling to finish the film.
Joe, a middle school band teacher with unfulfilled dreams of becoming a professional Jazz musician, ends up in the “Great-Before”, a place where new souls are assigned characteristics and personalities before going to Earth. Joe is tasked with helping a new soul find her “spark”. The spark is described in the movie as someone's hobby or purpose in life. These new souls have to find their spark, whether it’s music, medicine, basketball, etc., before they receive their “earth-pass” and get to start their life.
Soul has had great reviews since it’s release on Christmas day on Disney+. The film has received a 96% approval rating on rotten tomatoes and an 8.1/10 on IMDb. The meaning behind the film provides a great message to the younger generations as it encourages them to appreciate all the little moments in life. It pushed you to appreciate the things that bring you joy such as eating pepperoni pizza or listening to your favorite musicians.
This is such an important message because we get so caught up in being the best at something; trying to find our “spark”. Soul expressed that having your “spark” and striving to excel in whatever you love to do is not a bad thing, but don't let it take over your life. Make sure to stop and find joy in the little things and to not let life pass you by.
The movie itself was, personally, hard to watch. I’m not always a fan of animated movies but I can usually appreciate the story. Soul kind of dragged on and was just outright pretty boring. It seemed as if there were so many good aspects crammed into a 107 minute that could’ve been elaborated on, like Joe’s family life and his love for music. Other parts could’ve been toned down such as 22 at the beginning and their initial search for her “spark”. Now don’t get me wrong, I think 22’s character was hilarious, but I thought the character took away from other important details.
Though the film’s target audience is young kids, I feel like Disney could’ve made the film just a little more interesting to watch for all ages by adding more depth to the story as I’ve stated above.
Overall, I think this is a great family-friendly film and I applaud Disney on producing a movie with such a deep meaning. This is a great film for kids to watch while also receiving a great message on the meaning of life.