Soul: Disney+ Talk
It seems that Pixar has given a mind to everything in existence: toys, cars, robots and even emotions. But they’re not done yet and are giving human souls a mind of their own with their new film ‘Soul’. This was another film that was due for a cinema release but unfortunately missed out due to the pandemic. Therefore, it has landed a place on Disney’s streaming service.
‘Soul’ stars Jamie Foxx as Joe Gardner, a New York resident who is given the chance of a lifetime to play in a famous jazz band. But, after he suddenly dies, he must find a way back into his body before the concert starts and avoid going to the Great Beyond. Along the way, he befriends a mischievous soul, 22 (voiced by Tina Fey) who refuses to transfer to Earth.
Pixar once again shine through with their latest entry, and I hope this gets re-released once the cinemas reopen. It’s a delightful and heart-warming film.
Jamie Foxx delivers a fantastic voice performance as the teacher who is continuously turned down by various jazz bands that he desperately wants to play in, to only meet his untimely end once his big break arrives. He’s immediately likable and his motives are completely understandable. 22 is also likable, but for a different reason: she is cheeky and carries most of the humour by her recounting her previous mentors, which include Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa. Later in the film, a lot of the jokes are slapstick, and this works too because of the opposite personalities. Joe is so desperate to get back to Earth while 22 has no interest. However, the duo work together perfectly.
Something I rarely bring up when talking about a film is diversity. However, this needs to be mentioned. The majority of the cast are black or Spanish-speaking, which is something I admire. It shows that Pixar are wanting to be more diverse with each film they make; their last film being the Mexican led ‘Coco’ which is still my favourite Pixar film. And, just like ‘Coco’, the soundtrack is important to the story too; it’s what drives Joe Gardner in life. Therefore, it needs to be not only good, but also meaningful. ‘Soul’ definitely has the most interesting soundtrack, with a mixture of smooth jazz and electronic music. These genres are used to separate the real world and the spirit world, giving the already dream-like world a sense of wonder compared to the more grounded real world.
Like mentioned at the start, I hope ‘Soul’ is re-released in cinemas for one reason only: the visuals. The divide between Earth and the spirit world is clear, not only through its music but through the visuals too: The Great Before looks dream-like and soft to match the nature of the souls that are yet to be born, while the stairway to the Great Beyond is wonderous and sparse, giving it a mysterious aura. This scene in particular was my favourite, as well as the black and white sketch lines of the drop between the two Great areas. The mixture of the impressive animation styles is wonderful to see and makes this a visually unique film. The character animation is also interesting and unique; whereas Pixar started out by cloning Andy various times as a way to animate his friends in ‘Toy Story’, this film really displays how far the company has come since then in terms of animating people. No one looks the same here, and everyone has their own unique appearance and quirks. And the souls look otherworldly but still identifiable; you can tell who they were when they lived on Earth.
Overall, Pixar has made another animated classic with ‘Soul’. It was a film that I was originally uninterested in, but I’m glad I watched. The music and animation make this a very unique Pixar film and I really hope it gets its chance at the cinema when the times comes, because this is a film that deserves to be seen on the big screen. Not only that, but it’s clear Pixar are becoming culturally diverse with their recent entries and that’s something that I really admire and hope they continue to do in the future.
If you have Disney+, then I would highly recommend this.
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