Our Review of Disney-Pixar’s ‘Soul‘ Starring Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey. Before we continue, I wanted to share that during reviews we do our best to prevent sharing spoilers and ruining the film for viewers. That being said, we will touch on some topics and plot points that may have minor spoiling, but we won’t reveal anything that will ruin the magic of this story. If you do not want to read anything that may spoil aspects of the film we suggest you stop reading beyond this point, Thank-you. Enjoy our review of Disney-Pixar’s Soul!
“What is it that makes you…YOU? This December, Pixar Animation Studios’ all-new feature film “Soul” introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) – a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions.”
Disney and Pixar have a knack for pulling on the heartstrings of audiences around the globe and this film is no exception. An overview of our thoughts on the film is that everyone can relate to the story of Joe Gardner in some capacity. Joe is a charismatic man with a loving, and overly protective family looking to make his mark on the world. “Mr. G” can’t shake the idea that he was meant for more than the world had offered and though he likes teaching students about music he wants nothing more than to make it big and become “one of the greats”. Then the unthinkable happens. Joe finally gets his shot to change his life around and realize his dream until one misstep leads him on a new path.
The film touches on many themes including human connection, the importance of family, self-reflection, and what it means to live each minute of this thing called life. Now for a deeper dive into the film. If you want to avoid spoilers now is the time to skip to the trailer at the end the article!
Though we enjoyed the movie and felt the surge to remember to live life to the fullest each and every day, we understand the plight that some fans may have with the film. A large point on contention before the films debut has been the idea that the first African-American lead character for Pixar has fallen under the trope of “representation through transformation”. Similarly to The Princess and the Frog, the lead character who happens to be a POC has been transformed to seem more relatable to viewers and appeal to children. Though it’s important to note that objectively, this movie doesn’t do this intentionally to Joe because of his skin tone and he is not the only character transformed into a soul form in the movie, many fans are disappointed already that Jamie Foxx’s character Joe Garner will be transformed in the film for comedic and storytelling effect rather than a full representation of an African-American man throughout the entire film.
That being said, objectively the story of the film makes sense after viewing and though we understand that some fans have a problem with the presentation and, like us, hope to see more true representation of lead POC characters in future films, Soul still does a fantastic job at sharing insight into the “shared human experience” of living life to the fullest no matter the obstacles.
The film is littered with clever jokes, relatable experiences, and expressive characters that will keep you glued to the screen. The music is expertly featured and let’s just say we could listen to Joe play piano all day! We hope you enjoy this film as much as we did and we will happily watch the film time and time again.
Soul explores that spark inside of everyone that makes life worth dying for. Though that may look different to each individual and sometimes we get lost along the way, it’s never too late to find your purpose, inspire others, and chase after your dreams.
Check out the official trailer for Disney-Pixar’s Soul below:
Soul will be available to stream exclusively on Disney+ on Christmas Day, December 25, 2020 and features the vocal talents of Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, Angela Bassett, Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson, Phylicia Rashad and Daveed Diggs.
Be sure to check back here at Chip and Co. for updates and all things Disney!
Featured Photo Credit: Disney/Pixar