Joe a jazz musician who is struggling to find his passion for the music he had spent his whole life working on and towards, currently working as a school band teacher. When he is transported out of his body he must try and find his way back with the help of 22 an infant soul learning about the world.
Soul does everything you expect it will do and more! That meaning it will make you really think about your own life and how thinking about your own soul is probably not something you do very often. Just highlighting how truly powerful and outstanding Pixar films really are, they dig so deep into emotion and it really does get to you.
Joe is a likeable man and his passion for jazz is something that is just well lovely, even though his mother doesn’t fully agree with his choices and chasing that dream of performing. I felt this was important as when we are pulled towards a job and/or career we believe we were always meant to do that and that is quite an important thing to think about right?
22 is a soul and supposed to learn from people and then get sent to earth, she does not have much interest in doing that and quite frankly is scared. Meeting Joe was the best thing to happen and the friendship between the pair was just well lovely. He must show 22 the joys of life and quite frankly I was well on board with pizza being one of those things!
On returning to earth they end up swapping and 22 is in Joe’s body with Joe being stuck in a cat. This gives the comedy factor a real chance and we all know how great it is to have an animal in this type of film. This also allows Joe to see that there was a lot more joy in his life than he had ever taken time to realise, so surely this is a very interesting concept that sometimes we need to slow down and stop for even a few seconds to take in some moments.
Naturally the film looks visually fantastic and that is more than expected. While I had been looking forward to the film I didn’t really know about the full concept of the other reality and the whole death thing and the soul, so that dimension looked great and had some rather strange looking characters. That can only been seen as a positive though making you fully appreciate the animation aspect of it all and that dream like place. It really added to that side of the story and taking it away from the earth was a brilliant idea in all honesty.
Pixar have always had the ability to make me cry in the films and while I was not sobbing at this one I was certainly full at different times and very close at the end. Which leads me to wanting to talk about the ending (without spoiling it of course) and that it was just so hard hitting and quite frankly perfect given how 2020 has gone. I personally have been doubting life choices for a while now and then bang 2020 has happened and pushed me to eventually making the changes to push forward. That feels what Soul is all about assessing your own situations and life and deciding whether to just stick with it or going for it and making the changes to improve it all.
Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey are our main voices and quite frankly just lovely to listen to them both. Cannot have any complaints on how they work so effortlessly together for Joe and 22. A lovely little bonus and surprise was hearing Graham Norton’s voice as I actually had no idea that he was one of the characters!
It will always be such a shame that this film could not have the big cinema release it fully deserved but having it released on Disney+ on Christmas Day was a nice little touch. Easily one of the best films I have seen this year!