soul is ambitious and well made.
If Continue was positioned as a populist Pixar movie that year soul is a counter-proposal. It’s a prestige piece for the company, much like from the inside to the outside or Wall-E. After all soul is the latest project from Pete Docter. Docter has been part of the Pixar Brain Trust since its earliest days and even worked on the stories for Toy story and Toy Story 2. However, Docter’s most recent high profile work has been his role as a screenwriter and director Above and from the inside to the outside, two Pixar films nominated for best picture to win best animated feature.
The premise of soul is appropriately abstract. Joe Gardner is a music teacher who has always dreamed of being a successful stage musician. One day a former student contacted him and offered to perform with jazz legend Dorethea Williams. Joe manages to land the gig and is confident that his fortune will change forever. Of course, dramatic irony strikes and Joe is sent to the afterlife. Joe refuses to accept that his life is over and pledges to do everything possible to return to earth and live his dream. “I’m not dying today.” he swears. “Not when my life was just beginning.”
soul handles very big ideas in a remarkably clever way. The film creates a fascinating and fascinating imaginary world that is reminiscent of Riley’s inner life from the inside to the outside and even the afterlife in Coco. Docter also uses the story as a meditation on important topics such as death, dreams, and disillusionment. It’s bold and flashy, and for the most part the film serves as a showcase for the company’s imagination. However, soul stumbles easily in the last act and pulls his punches very lightly when the film reaches its breakup.
There’s a lot to like soulalso on a purely technical level. The animation is noticeable, which is easy to take for granted, but a large part of what makes Pixar so eye-catching remains. There is a tendency to focus on the company’s understanding and construction of narrative, but the animation itself is stunning. This is especially noticeable in movies like from the inside to the outside or soulwhere the animators are effectively tasked with realizing abstract concepts.
Indeed, soul is packed with stunning graphics that include a decent compliment and a sharp and funny script. This is most noticeable when it comes to the portrayal of life “Furthermore” the mortal world. Of course, Joe’s journey beyond his mortal shell inevitably brings him into contact with a somewhat traditional afterlife, but also into the realm known as that “Great before”, the space in which souls are prepared for their adventures in the world of the living.
The images in this imaginary world are breathtaking and creative and show the joy that Pixar brings to their work. This is perhaps most evident in the illustration of the entities that oversee these areas. “Soul Advisor” with names like Jerry and Terry, who seem to exist as surprisingly expressive two-dimensional doodles that move through the otherwise fully realized three-dimensional space. They are beautiful to look at, with Pixar cleverly contrasting their abstract and alien appearance with a much more profane and bureaucratic personality.
In fact, the breakout character of the film could be one “Soul counter” named Terry, who finds out Joe is trying to cheat his way back to Earth. Terry runs an intricate series of abaci to track transmigration of souls “The count is wrong.” Awakened by a fantastic performance by Rachel House, soul presents Terry as an arch bureaucrat, which is even reflected in the physicality of the creature. Terry can move around in weird and eerie ways, but only seems to be able to move in straight lines and navigate through existing grids or frameworks.
Even just optically, soul is a pleasure. It’s fun to spend time with these characters in this world. Docter and his team populate this room with a delightful series of incongruous figures, from monstrous “lost souls” These wander through vast spiritual wastelands to meet spiritual gurus who are able to navigate the spiritual plane while listening to Bob Dylan in a bright pink pirate ship. soul Breeze through these types of images at an impressive rate, meaning there is always something new and interesting to discover.
Traditionally, Pixar films exist on a continuum between affectionate genre adventure films and more prestigious abstract dishes. This is not a clear binary, even if some movies tend to go to one extreme or another. cars and The life of a beetle tend more towards well-known genre tropes, while films like from the inside to the outside and Wall-E tend to be more abstract. Most of the time, Pixar combines these elements. Toy Story 3 is a prison film that is also a profound meditation on growing up. Above is a story of loss and regret, but also an old-fashioned exploration adventure.
soul tries to balance these extremes and tries to anchor a very high concept in an assignable genre mechanic. Indeed, soul Brise through three quite different genre setups and restart with every act transition. It seems safe to say so soul branches off in some interesting and unconventional directions as Joe tries to find his way back into the world of the living, and the film works hard to avoid staying stationary for too long at any given point.
There may be a bit of frustration in that. It often feels like soul might just spend a little more time on some of his ideas before referring to them for reaching for the next few concepts. The film is perhaps a little too nimble on its feet, a little too eager to trade one big premise for another, and trusts the audience to join in. Pixar is good enough at storytelling to make these transitions a lot smoother than one might expect – even trying to sum them up would suggest a much more disjointed movie. However, soul feels a bit too restless in places.
That said soul is built well enough that this never is Really a problem. What happens on the screen is always interesting and fun to keep the audience engaged, even if they’re moving a bit too much towards the established genre tropes. More than that, soul grapples with big questions in an interesting way. In particular, the film offers an interesting nuance in portraying Joe as a man who pursued his own dream with a single-minded fixation that may have cut him off from others.
It helps that the casting is excellent. soul relies on the odd couple who brings Jamie Foxx as Joe together with Tina Fey as the still-unborn soul 22 implicated in Joe’s diabolical plans to return to Earth. Foxx and Fey are an odd duo, but they work remarkably well together. Foxx is an Oscar winner with a keen sense for comic book timing, while Fey is a comedian who can also render characters with surprising emotional complexity. The couple works well together and is anchored soul during some of its sharper tone shifts.
Indeed, like many Pixar movies, soul Discussing complicated ideas in an animated family film. As always, Pixar overlays the story to add nuances and depths that would be lacking in more conventional settings on similar subjects. Specifically, soul Deserves a lot of credit for dealing with Joe’s obsession with making his own dream come true, recognizing the importance of Joe’s fulfillment while also acknowledging that for some, such pursuit is not necessarily the be-all and end-all of human existence or a panacea for deeper existential turmoil .
That said soul stumbles something in its final act. The film reaches a major emotional climax that concludes these characters’ journeys in a way that feels satisfying but ultimately pulls its punches and refuses to put any of its bolder and more interesting ideas on its logical conclusion consequences. The way in which soul Once the dust settles, it wraps itself up as if the film worries about potentially upsetting viewers – whether children or their parents.
It may be a necessary compromise for a movie like this, but it still feels like a compromise. soul directs a blow at an end, but pulls back at the last possible moment to accomplish something much more calming and safer. It’s a shame because that creative choice ultimately applies soul back. It prevents the film from feeling like the best entries in Pixar canon, those films that actually pushed audiences into places that could have been alienating and disturbing, but were ultimately necessary to underscore the points that the films made did.
Still, there is a lot to like soul. To expand the musical metaphor of the film, soul often feels like a little work in a major key.