The new Disney Pixar film Soul is another substantial addition to the well-established catalog. The film has all the trimmings of a good Pixar film. It has lovely animation, lots of heart, and meaningful themes. While the film features many complex themes, Soul will surely appeal to a broad audience.
Pixar’s films have a reputation for creating mind-blowing animation. Soul is no exception. The film features Pixar’s signature character look while adding its own unique touches. More than most Pixar film’s before it, this one contrasts more detailed, realistic settings with the fantastical. The bustling streets and skyline of New York City appear almost life-like in some shots. The detail in every scene, from a classroom to a barbershop, is full of rich imagery. Styles change drastically in the afterlife, and the animation is abstract and beautifully odd. The contrasting styles offer two different perspectives into the beautiful and visually pleasing.
Like all Pixar films, Soul has a tremendous amount of heart. Joe Gardner (Jaime Fox) is a character that most people can identify with. His passion and longing for a more fulfilling life allow him to grow as a character. When he meets 22 (Tina Fey), the two characters develop a bond and caring that drives the film’s ending. Their bond is the heart of the film, which reveals the overall message of the story.
One pleasantly surprising thing about Soul is the amount of deep, searching themes it contains. The film is packed with philosophy and life-lessons that many adults can appreciate. Death is a significant theme the film tackles. It looks at how we handle and process it. As a result, that theme leads to examining life and what it means to be alive. Here is where a minor criticism comes in. The film’s messaging is beautiful for adults and can inspire anyone who watches it to self reflect. But when it comes to very young people, those lessons might slip past them.
Still, Soul is a film that has something for everyone to enjoy and will delight children and adults alike.