‘Soul’ Film Review: Does it miss the Boat?

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“I was born to play”

2020 may be one of the most memorable years for the wrong reasons. Many lives have been changed and for avid movie goers their routine of checking out the next blockbuster in theaters was stripped away from them.

While new movies releasing on streaming services isn’t ideal “Soul” is definitely worth a watch even if the normal Pixar audiences may not enjoy it as much as previous films.

Overview

Joe, a middle-school band teacher has a real serious passion for music specifically Jazz. He thought that by now he’d have accomplished his dream of becoming a well known Jazz artist but he’s fallen a little short.

His life takes quite a turn after he finally gets a real chance to prove himself and along the way Joe must learn what it means to have a soul.

A Visual Masterpiece

To not give attention to appearance of the film would be a huge mistake. From the characters, to the New York environments it truly puts the quick animation cash grabs that come out every year to shame.

The movie feels like it captures the nature of New York and it stands out. For a city that appears in so many films a feat such as that is remarkable.

One of the biggest complaints have is that just not enough time is spent in the city itself.

Very Thought Provoking

This may be the most mature Pixar film to date. The themes addressed require deep thought. You may even find yourself questioning your own life choices.

That is a powerful thing that a film whose designated audience is for the family can even make people think along those lines.

Too Young for the Deep End

After a rather slow start I found myself getting very invested in the story about half hour into the film. As the movie continued one thing kept popping in my head was “who is this for?” Pixar’s audience has always been family. This time I wasn’t so sure.

I don’t know what a five year old will get from this film. The slow nature is bound to turn off many children and impatient viewers. New York while visually appealing is not the only location in the film and without spoiling the other areas don’t feel filled with life.

Some of the best animation uses many colors and blends them beautifully. Because of that plenty of younger viewers can get engaged in some media even if the story is not very alluring to them.

Lastly, the comedy is not enough to keep audiences engaged if that was the deciding factor in continuing to watch the motion picture. The jokes are actually pretty good and they don’t over stay their welcome. However, they don’t come very often.

Conclusion

I feel bad for those who won’t make it through the lengthy introduction. They’re missing out on a very deep film that frankly can cause you to think about your own life.

This story feels relatable what Joe goes through many people do the same thing. It certainly gave me food for thought.

The animation is next level. I don’t believe there’s many other films where New York City has looked this good. All of the human characters have unique looks and possess depth. Most of the characters Joe deals with I wouldn’t be disappointed if they got their own specials on Disney+ they’re just enjoyable.

How many children will enjoy this? While ‘Soul’ is marketed as a family film I don’t believe kids will end up getting it. The messaging is what makes the movie as good as it is. Without it it’d still be a decent film but its maturity allows it to stand out from it’s fellow Pixar movies.

Finally, I think this film will be divisive with people either praising it or letting others know its being blown way out of proportion. I encourage you even if you don’t like traditional Pixar motion pictures to give ‘Soul’ a shot.

Verdict 7.5 out of 10 Stars