Soul was written by Pete Docter, Mike Jones, and Kemp Powers, and was directed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers. It was released in 2020. The film was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios. The title designer was Laura Meyer.
A down on his luck jazz musician named Joe Gardner, voiced by Jamie Foxx, gets the opportunity of his lifetime. He’s invited to play in The Dorothea Williams Quartet, and would have been able to if he didn’t immediately fall into an open sewer and die. But he doesn’t want to miss out on his big break, so he escapes the “Great Beyond” and falls again into the “Great Before.” Joe is mistaken for a mentor to the new souls in the Great Before and assigned to the incredulous Soul 22, voiced by Tina Fey. At that time, he has no luck in helping them find a passion. With the help of the eccentric soul, Moonwind, voiced by Graham Norton, Joe locates his body back on Earth, but accidentally takes 22 along with him. Instead of returning to his body, 22 lands in it, and Joe inhabits the body of a nearby cat. The pair need to find a way to get Joe back into his body before his big show that night.
Gosh, there’s a lot that goes on in this film. It’s hard to keep the synopsis condensed. Suffice it to say, this film has a lot of depth. It is 100% worth seeing. I was enamored of Onward, Pixar’s other 2020 film, so I was hopeful that Soul would be able to match the bar that the other one set. After watching it, I can say that Soul is undeniably the better film, and I loved Onward. I may not be a jazz musician, but I think anyone, especially those with an artistic inclination, can relate to both Joe and 22. We’re all looking for our purpose in life. We’re all looking for our calling. The lucky ones are able to find it. Those who can help others find their calling are truly special people. My goal in life is to find the satisfaction that Joe achieves at the end of this film. Do I need to be rich and famous? No. I mean, I wouldn’t mind being rich, but that’s not what’s going to make me happy. Feeling content with my life, and being able to inspire others, is a journey worth going on.
I’d love for you to take a look at the opening sequence.1 The combination of music from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross2 with the stark, black and white animation gives it a chilling, lonely, awe-inspiring feel that completely took me aback. Witnessing this instantly sold me on the movie. I had to rewatch this bit several times. I was thrilled to be seeing a true piece of art. 🎞