Director: Pete Doctor, Kemp Powers
Writer: Peter Doctor, Mike Jones, Kemp Powers (Screenplay)
Starring: (Voice Talents) Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alice Brage, Richard Ayoade, Pyhlicia Rashad
Plot: A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.
Tagline – Everybody has a soul. Joe Gardner is about to find his.
Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Soul starts as we meet jazz musician teacher Joe who has reached the point in his life, where an offer for a fulltime teacher is the smart option, but when one of his former student Curley gets him an audition with famous musician Dorothea, a job he gets, only he dies.
Joe’s soul ends up on the path to the light, where all lost souls go, trying to find his way back to his body, but he must mentor a new soul first, one which needs guiding, only not everything goes as planned.
Thoughts on Soul
Characters – Joe was raised on jazz, plays jazz and dreams of being a big jazz musician, he hasn’t found fame yet, turning to teaching to make a living, at a crossroads of his life, teach the next generation or take on the one last shot given to him, only not everything goes to plan, after he dies. He is taken to the place where souls are created and pass over, he is left to mentor a soul, which will see him needing to try and get back to his body and find his true calling. 22 is the soul that has been partnered with some of the biggest names in history to try and guide them, which shows how they are reluctant to learn more about what might be coming, they help Joe get and learn what they want most out of their own potential new life. We do get the counsellors named Jerry who are the guides for the souls, they do come off like babysitters for the developing souls and the people that Joe has been helping throughout the years.
Story – Soul follows a musician that is looking for his big break or settle on his teaching job, only for him to die, which will see his soul trying to return back to his body before his big break, where he will learn a bigger lesson on life. This story could have been a lot bigger and better, because we dive into the idea of potentially getting a second chance to live life, we do get stuck in the idea that Joe has always been waiting not taking chances, certain parts of the story feel like something we have seen before, giving little life to the ideas, even if the big heart is trying to come through hard here.
Themes – Soul is an animated movie, which looks beautiful like every Pixar movie does, it has basic comedy down well, holds back on more of the pop culture jokes and relies on the fast talking nature of Tina Fey for the laughs. We get to see the world of jazz through the eyes of somebody who holds a big passion for the music and shows us how being put into a world where life is one and done, means you need to find what makes you happy, not what you believe is important to you.
Final Thoughts – Soul wants to have a big heart, only it seems to get caught up in trying to be funny instead of serious, which many other Pixar films have managed before.