Directed by Pete Docter & Kemp Powers
Written by Pete Docter, Mike Jones, & Kemp Powers
Starring the voices of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alice Braga, Richard Ayoade, Phylicia Rashad, Donnell Rawlings, Questlove, & Angela Bassett
Release Date: December 25, 2020
Running Time: 1hr 40min
Joe Gardner (Foxx) is a middle school teacher with a love for jazz music. After a successful gig at the Half Note Club, he suddenly gets into an accident that separates his soul from his body and is transported to the You Seminar, a center in which souls develop and gain passions before being transported to a newborn child. Joe must enlist help from the other souls-in-training, like 22 (Fey), a soul who has spent eons in the You Seminar, in order to get back to Earth.
Soul premiered at the London Film Festival on October 11, 2020. Originally intended to be a theatrical release in the United States, the film was released to stream on Disney+ on December 25, 2020, and was theatrically released in countries without the streaming service. It received highly positive reviews from critics, with praise for its animation, story, voice acting, and music, being described as one of Pixar’s “most ambitiously existential” and finest films.
I’ve been watching Pixar movies from the very beginning and have always been a big fan. Most of their movies involve some kind of innovation in computer animation (skin texture, water physics, hair, fur, etc), while also providing memorable characters and stories. This movie is no exception. As always, the animation and visuals are beautiful, with both the human world and the spirit world having their distinct look. The cast is good as always, Foxx and Fey have a very good back and forth with each other.
A central theme is trying to find your purpose in life, that spark that makes you who you are. Some critics seem to think the message is too adult for kids and I definitely disagree with that. At least when it comes to kids of a certain age I don’t agree. I remember being 11 or 12 she not being sure of myself and feeling like I would never figure that out. Then again, this shouldn’t just be thought as a kids movie, like with many animated movies. So yeah, give this a watch!y
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