“Soul” Movie Review

Devin Hung, Contributing Writer

Pixar’s latest film “Soul” is without a doubt their most ambitious and mature outing in the studio’s history. And it’s also one of their best.

It tells the story of Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), a man who’s about to get his big break as a jazz pianist when he suddenly dies, enters the Great Before and (stay with me here) has to help an unborn soul (Tina Fey) find their purpose for living. Yeah, it’s bizarre, and that’s coming from a studio that made a film about a rat with dreams to cook and a tale of jealousy between two toys. But with “Soul”, Pixar finally made a film that felt to me like they were really playing for keeps. 


The animation is obviously outstanding, as well as incredibly innovative with how they choose to portray complex ideas in a simple yet effective manner. I also absolutely adore the score. It’s very much inspired by jazz and techno beats; it could almost be considered lyric-less lofi. Combine those elements of sight and sound and the product is easily Pixar’s most ethereal film. I can see children responding to this the same way that I responded to “WALL-E” as a child. With a sense of awe and wonderment that they may not fully comprehend yet, but can truly come to appreciate as they age.

I say that because this is a dense film that gets very philosophical. It ponders on how our purpose in life may not be so concrete or obvious to us and that life is truly beautiful if we simply look around, and those ideas really touched me. But at the same time, they might be a little too inaccessible, which is really my only issue with the film. Even though I said that children could watch “Soul” in awe, they could also become restless and may not appreciate what the movie’s going for; they might not get it. It really depends on the child, and even though I know I would have enjoyed this if I were younger, I’m positive many others wouldn’t have. 


This really only doesn’t sit well with me in retrospect, because I had the time of my life watching Pixar’s latest celebration of life. It can be very funny at times, it hits all of the emotional beats, and I think it’s an important film to watch since I think we all need something inspiring that will remind us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dark it may be. Easily one of the best movies of 2020, “Soul” is another home-run from one of cinema’s greatest innovators.


Grade: 4.5/5