Soul-Movie Review

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Pixar is known for its unforgettable animated films like Finding Nemo, Up, Toy Story, and so many more that are associated with iconic characters and tear-jerking storylines. Soul is the latest Pixar movie and it… kind of lived up to the animation studio’s reputation.
The film sets out to answer some of life’s biggest questions like “Where do your passions and dreams come from? What is it that makes you, you?” This is a daunting task for a Disney Pixar movie to be undertaking, especially since their animated films are typically targeted towards children. Somehow, though, it was able to create a story that answered the questions in a satisfying, meaningful way that both kids and adults could appreciate. I left the movie feeling wholesome, the ending being hopeful and inspiring.
The reason I say that it “kind of” lived up to Pixar’s reputation is that, while the themes and message of the movie were wonderful, the execution and actual journey it took to get there weren’t the most enjoyable for a Pixar production. We follow Joe Gardner, a middle school music teacher who feels like he is meant for so much more. He has the opportunity of a lifetime, but ends up dying before he can use it. Joe finding himself in this film’s “afterlife” was very strange for me. The designs of everything from the souls to the supervisors of souls to the abstract everything felt so boring to me and not creative at all. Even if that was the point, I just found myself uninterested in the setting and the look of the movie. I didn’t actually want to learn more about the systems and world the movie created, which is never good.
The film also doesn’t have great pacing. It’s kind of slow, and not in the thoughtful way some movies are. The first half of the movie isn’t particularly engaging at all. Thankfully, the second half of the movie is much more interesting and more fun to follow.
The animation was stunning, as one could expect from a Pixar film. The humans in this movie looked amazing, realistic without being creepy in the way some humans end up being in animated movies.
Overall, Soul is a good movie. It’s not phenomenal, but it has a message on your worth and purpose that many need to hear. For that, I appreciate it. It could’ve been so much better if the message was conveyed in a different way and not through a boring afterlife plot. Honestly, the film might’ve been better without the literal depiction of souls and the afterlife, instead just the discussion of them. This is not a must-watch, but it isn’t a waste of time, either. The newest Pixar movie might not be a masterpiece, but it does have some soul.