Pixar’s Soul: A Cinematic Masterpiece



Soul was released digitally on Disney+, and grossed $32.5 million, making it the lowest grossing Pixar movie.

Disney released their latest Pixar movie, “Soul” which was available to stream on Disney +, December 25th. A Christmas gift for both Disney fans, and the general public, Soul tells the story of a middle school band teacher, who tries to find his soul after being detached from his body.

Soul is the first Pixar movie to have an African-American protagonist, with Jamie Foxx playing the main character “Joe Gardner”, a middle school band teacher and aspiring Jazz musician. The film brilliantly captures the reality of a person’s thought process and highlights the idea that “it’s alright to not have your life figured out”.

With stunning animation and visuals, the film brilliantly showcases “what finding your purpose truly is”.  Joe falls down a sewer hole and wakes up in the “Great Beyond,” a place where souls go once they are about to pass on into the afterlife. Joe escapes and is now in the “Great Before” a place where unborn souls find their traits and are awarded badges to the point where they can be sent to Earth by “Soul Counselors” who are all referred to as Jerry. Joe was accidentally given the role of an instructor and must now help an unborn soul find their “spark”, the last trait needed to be found before an unborn soul can be sent to Earth. Joe is assigned to help the unborn soul “22”, who has remained in the “Great Before” for millennia and has had notable instructors like Abraham Lincoln and  Mahatma Gandhi. The story revolves around Joe and 22 finding the spark that will grant passage to Earth. Joe agrees with 22 to take the Earth badge to get home since 22 does not care to live anyway.


Soul tells the story quite comedically and in my opinion, is one of the funniest Disney/Pixar movies I’ve seen. Initially, when the audience is introduced to the “Great Beyond,” it is depicted as a place of horror and mystery, and each time it is shown, there’s always that haunting music that accompanies its appearance. However, once Joe returns the “Earth badge” to 22, he accepts his fate and begins the journey to the “Great Beyond, only to be stopped by the “Jerry’s” and given another shot at life. This truly shows Joe’s character development throughout the story, and really taught me to live every day to the fullest.

22’s journey from despising the idea of living, to appreciating the tiny details that most would ignore like eating pepperoni pizza, or watching a maple seed fall from a tree, is what really made me think “Wow, I really do take life for granted,”. One of the movie’s greatest lessons was to enjoy life and every detail because it can all come to an end at any minute.

One of my favorite details from the movie is that when Joe falls into the sewer hole, the movie transitions into him becoming a soul, and we are presented with a screen that says “Disney Presents… A Pixar Animation Studios Film,” but there are no opening credits or a moment that signifies that the movie is starting. At the end of the movie, Joe is ready to live his life, and we are presented with the movie title, indicating that Joe’s story really starts at the end of the movie.

A lesson that I took with me from watching this movie was that your passion is not your purpose. Joe’s passion was music and becoming a jazz musician. Once he lived his dream of playing alongside the famous Jazz musician Dorothea Williams, Joe realized that it was not at all as fulfilling as he thought it would be. Joe’s spark was music, but that’s all that it ever was, a spark. Not his true cause for living.  Your true purpose is to live your life the best way that you can.