- Out now
As a Christmas gift, Pixar released their newest animated feature, Soul, on Disney+ on 25th December. The film opens by introducing Joe Gardner: a middle school musician aiming to become a famous musician in the jazz world. To his surprise, he gets the opportunity to play in a successful band; however, on his way home, he has an accident and dies. He starts an adventure to get back to his life before his death as his ‘soul’ enters the afterlife universe. The rules require him to make a choice: to ‘cross to the other side’ to end his life completely, or alternatively become a mentor to a soul named ‘22’ that has yet to be born into a body to help it find its purpose.
During an attempt to get Joe back to his body something goes wrong that leads to 22 having Joe’s body instead of his own. During this time we witness how the unborn soul appreciates the smallest details in life such as a leaf flying from a tree, or enjoying a tasty meal. Through the experiences of 22 in Joe’s body, we, the audience, are given time to reflect on times in our own lives when we haven’t been appreciative of ordinary moments. As you might have gathered, this film tries to cater to a more mature audience than most Pixar features, aiming to bring to the fore questions about the meaning of life and the nature of the soul.
In addition, the importance of the incredible animations and music must not be forgotten; without them Soul wouldn’t be as emotional or outstanding as it is. It certainly seems like Pixar and Disney aren’t scared to explicitly tackle important topics in philosophy, despite such subject matters demanding more from audiences. Soul serves as the most recent addition to this new pursuit—following in the footsteps of films like Coco and Inside Out. If you get the chance, Soul is definitely worth watching, even more so after the recent knocks our social lives have taken due to the pandemic.