This image is an official promotional work of Soul.  According to The Walt Disney Movies official website under the article “Soul”, The Walt Disney Movies states that “the rights, as well as the credit for this film, belong to The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Animation Studios(7). This image is on The Walt Disney Movies official website under the article, “Soul”.

Let’s Face It, Life Can Be a Rollercoaster

Let’s face it, life is a rollercoaster.  Life can be good, bad, neutral, and ugly.  Sometimes, we have life-changing events get in the way and changes what we should and want to do.  We all have interests and things that we love to do.  That helps make life a little bit easier.  Honestly, there are moments where we reflect on what is the beauty of life.  Films, television shows, books, and video game stories occasionally help audiences reflect on what to look for in life.  One of these films is Pixar’s newest film, Soul.  Made by Pixar Animation and distribution by the Walt Disney Company, Soul follows Joe Gardner as he helps a new soul learn about the values of life. How does this film do in terms of expressing this theme? Let’s find out together.

In this review, we’re analyzing how Soul teaches how to live life to the fullest through the story, characters, animation, and music. 

Soul Tackles Some Deep Topics About Living Life

One of the things that Soul does right is having a captivating story.  Without a doubt, this film features a character-driven story.  Previously, I state that this film follows Joe Gardner who helps a new soul learn about the wonders of life.  Trust me, there’s a lot more to this story than what I’m stating here.  However, talking about it in more detail will take away from the joy of this film.  There wasn’t at one point where the story seems to be out of sorts.  In fact, Soul actually tackles a lot of different deeper themes than other Pixar films.  Honestly, this film reminds me of another Pixar film, Inside Out.  Just in terms of tackling deeper topics like life, personality, and a lot of other aspects. 

Now, this film is for all ages.  With that said, I feel like this film will resonate more with the older audience watchers than the younger audiences.  Yes, there are a lot of animation aspects as well as character dynamics that children might like.  Yet, this film does focus a lot on how to live life to the fullest.  Which may or may not resonate with a younger audience.  Rest assured, this film has a wide range of characters to help teach the audiences about living life to the fullest.     

Easily, The Characters Are the Best Part of Soul

Without a doubt, the characters are the best part of Soul.  I think that is one of the more charming aspects of this film is the characters.  These characters are three dimensional and incredibly interesting.  There wasn’t one point where I thought the characters weren’t disinteresting.  In fact, this film uses characters in addition to animation to progress the story along.  Trust me, we’ll talk about the animation in this film.  For now, I want to discuss why the characters in this film help illustrate the film’s theme of living life to the fullest.  Joe Gardner is an incredibly relatable guy.  He’s a musician who’s working a job he doesn’t necessarily love but it pays the bills.  Anyone who is an artist of any kind will immediately know how this feels.  Through this whole film, the audience learns so much about living life to the fullest.  

What makes this film even more engaging is we see Joe’s life through the perspective of Soul 22 who’s Joe’s student.  Soul 22 is also an incredibly enjoyable character.  For many, 22 will be incredibly relatable.  22 is a soul who doesn’t want to come to earth because she doesn’t want to experience earth. The duo of Joe and 22 is extremely engaging.  In fact, even the non-main characters are incredibly interesting.  They each serve a purpose to move the story along.  This film’s characters help show the theme of Soul.  Just like the characters, the animation of this film helps cement the theme of living life to the fullest. 

Soul Offers Some Unique, Fun, and Captivating Animation

Soul has some of the most enriching and breathtaking animation.  Now, the animation isn’t over the top.  The animation is beautiful while helping tell the story.  There are moments within this film that don’t have dialogue.  Instead, the animation and the music assist the story along.  The amount of realistic texture and lighting Soul has makes this film come to life.  Everything this film has to offer feels lifelike.  Many of Pixar’s other animations has been more like a cartoonish with a sense of realism.  Now, Soul has some cartoon aspects to it.  However, the cartoon animation is more in the soul universe.  Even when the film transitions to the soul world, the animation is still engaging.  When we see Earth, there’s a sense of realism.  It feels like this world is our world. 

There are no superheroes, no over the top animation styles, and no objects with human characteristics.  The animation within this film helps bring life to the universe.  If anything, the animation plays as much of a role in telling this story as the characters, music, and the story itself.  The animation within this film shows the beauty of life.  How there’s so much to offer much like our own world is.  Without a doubt, the animation is my favorite part of this film.  Much like the animation helping tell the theme of this film, so too does the multiple genres of music. 

Soul Brings A Ton of Jazz and Fun Music That Furthers the Film Along

Last but not least, we’re going to look at the music.  Much like everything else within Soul, the music plays a huge role within the theme of the film.  Mostly, this film focuses on jazz music. Which I might say is absolutely amazing to hear. The jazz music is a reflection of Joe’s passion.  Then, the music changes once 22 and Joe have to work together.  So, Soul offers a wide range of multiple genres.  With that said, the music never feels out of place.  When the dialogue stops, the music helps fill the silence. If anything, the music expands the realness of this universe.  Joe clearly loves Jazz, and his passion is in that field.  The music makes the audience question what their passion in life is.  Also, the music helps make the audience think of how to live life to the fullest. 

Even when the film switches to the soul universe, the music brings curiosity and wonder to what is to come in life.  The music base around 22 is unique as well.  They assist her story by demonstrating her character through the music.  Easily, this film has some of the most authentic and well diverse music that’s been seen in a Pixar film.  The only other Pixar film I can think of where the music plays a huge role in portraying the story is Coco.  The music helps ties everything together to drive the theme home even more. 

Ultimately, Soul is an Engaging, Thought-Provoking Film that Should Be Seen By Everyone

Within this review, we’ve fully discuss how Soul teaches how to live life to the fullest.  Firstly, we took a look at the story.  The story of Soul follows two characters as they learn how to live life to the fullest.  It’s engaging and full of different surprises.  Furthermore, we have the character.  Easily, the characters are the best part of the film.  From three dimensional to engaging, all of the characters make this universe come alive.  The audience wants to learn more as well as learn how they live life.  Next, we took a look at the outstanding animation.  Soul has some of the most realistic animation that has been seen from Pixar to date.  Sure, there are moments of cartoonish character design.  However, the animation in this film makes these characters feel human.  The animation pushes the factor of this can happen to me.

Finally, we have the music.  From jazz to melancholy tunes, the music in this film advances the story when dialogue is silent.  Soul has a wonderful teaching mechanic with living life to the fullest with the music.  Honestly, if you haven’t seen Soul already, go see it.  It’s a feel-good, thought-provoking film.  To find what you love to do and live life to the fullest. 

Open for Discussion

Thank you so much for reading this review. Now, we want to hear from you guys. Have you seen or have yet to see Soul? Did you like it or not? Let’s talk about this film. Fill free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

If you want to watch this film, make sure to head over to Disney Plus.  You do need a membership to watch it.  I know Disney Plus does a free trial before the membership starts.  Also, if you want to learn more about Soul, make sure to head over to the following websites.  They include Pixar Animation’s website that talks about this film in more detail.  Besides, there’s also Disney’s website where they also talk about Soul.  Make sure to also check out Soul’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  

Furthermore, if you like what you see here, make sure to check out a previous article I did about Soul moving to Disney Plus. In this review, I discuss in detail how this film move from theaters to online services.

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Work Cited

The Walt Disney Company. “Soul.” Disney Movies, 25 Dec. 2020.