9.5 | AMAZING
‘Soul’ is a thought-provoking, visually stunning, and emotionally powerful story that is an instant classic and the best Pixar has done in a long time.
‘Soul’ deal with Joe, a middle-aged music teacher who has not had the life he expected. When he comes close to having a big opportunity, he unexpectedly stumbles upon a mysterious realm.
‘Soul’ has had a rough road to release. Originally scheduled to open in theaters this past summer, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Disney to delay it several times and ultimately opt to move it to a Disney+ release, a first for the acclaimed animation studio. Pixar veteran Pete Docter directs ‘Soul,’ after previously helming classic movies like ‘Up’ and ‘Inside Out.’ Achieving something that I thought impossible, Docter has managed to top himself once more with this film, creating what is, in my view, an instant classic and one that deserves a place among Pixar’s best. Is it ideal for having to watch it on a small screen? No, but surprisingly, it doesn’t affect the experience at all, and it’s a perfect holiday treat for any family who wishes to watch something great.
The beauty of ‘Soul’ lies in how Docter expertly manages to deal with mature themes and subject matters in such a simple, effective, and powerful way. The film is never manipulative or exposition-heavy. Instead, Docter trusts audiences to explore what is being shown to them and take away its beautiful message organically. It also helps that the animation is utterly stunning, something many take for granted with Pixar but is still outstanding. Ironically, it’s kids who will have the most challenging time trying to understand and appreciate this film, as it is, without a doubt, the most mature movie the studio has made. Still, while the message will not be apparent to them, the film is filled with laugh-out-loud moments and interactions between Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey’s characters that are a joy to watch.
Speaking of the voice cast, both Foxx and Fey pull off what must have been challenging roles for them on paper and deliver great voice performances, adding a lot of heart to the movie. Another excellent element of the film is Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score, which is mesmerizing and memorable.
In conclusion, ‘Soul’ is an experience like no other, combining incredible animation, an inspiring message, and a fun adventure to become one of Pixar’s best and a must-watch for everyone.