Must-See Movies: Soul

Have you ever watched a movie that made you question your reality… or, in this case, your purpose? We sure have, but we never expected it to be an animated film! Pixar Animation Studios takes you on a journey from the streets of New York City to the cosmic realms to discover the answers to life’s most important questions in their newest film “Soul”. Co-Directed by Pixar veteran Pete Docter, alongside playwright and screenwriter Kemp Powers, the film follows a jazz pianist who has a near-death experience and gets stuck in the afterlife, contemplating his choices and regretting the existence that he mostly took for granted. Not convinced yet? Keep reading.

A Little Summary

The film peaks with Joe falling into an open manhole and ending up comatose in a hospital. It’s a bummer twist ending to a great day in which Joe was finally offered a staff job at his school, then nailed an audition with a visiting jazz legend who had invited him to play with her that night. After his near-lethal pratfall, Joe’s soul is sent to the Great Beyond, but Joe isn’t ready for The End, so he flees in the other direction, falls off the walkway, and ends up in a brightly colored yet still-purgatorial zone known as The Great Before.

The Great Before has its own rules and procedures and is part of a larger spiritual ecosystem wherein certain things have to happen for other things to happen. The purpose of the Great Before is to mentor fresh souls so that they can discover a “spark” that will drive them to a happy and productive life down on earth.

Joe is motivated mainly by a desire to avoid the white light and get back to earth somehow (and play that amazing gig he’d been waiting his whole life for), so he assumes the identity of an acclaimed Swedish psychologist and mentors a problem blip known only by her number, 22. Twenty-two is a blasé cynic who has rejected mentorship from some of the greatest figures in mortal history, including Carl Jung and Abraham Lincoln. Can Joe break the streak and help her find her purpose?

What We Love About it

Not only do we love this incredible film for it’s storyline, “Soul” has attracted some interpretation that it is Pixar’s “first adult movie”. Soul explores existential ideas close to its surface, taking in mortality, the meaning of life, and what life without purpose truly means.

Pixar has never released a flat-out bad film. And this is a good one: pleasant and clever, with a generous heart, committed voice acting, and some of the kookiest images in Pixar history!


Omaya Michelle

  • Eclectic soul
  • Staying Mindful
  • Ardently Artistic