Pixar so seldom lets us down, that they’ve become almost synonymous with success. Their newest feature film, Soul, is like past Pixar films in that it’s a very well told story that prioritizes the right things. The script is the most important thing about a film and this film sure has a winning one, I found myself completely emerged in the story and even got misty eyed towards the end. The animation is great too with top notch visuals that really pop! And this film’s casting is spot on, each cast member fits their characters so well. Gather your family and friends around and give this one a go!
What makes this script oh so delightful is that when it wants to be dramatic and moving it succeeds when it wants to be funny, it succeeds, and when it wants to teach a lesson, it succeeds. This film’s script had a goal and that goal was reached! I was so impressed with how smoothly this thing flowed, there’s a harmony to it that’s impossible to miss. The characters are not only likable but also pretty relatable, they all exhibit things that normal people go through and feel. None of this comes across as super cheesy or disjointed, it feels authentic because of the focus on real life issues that people face. Because of their focus on real life issues, when the message comes along, it feels real and important, hence the misty eyes. I also really enjoyed the creativity that was brought to the fantastical side of the story. They set up the “afterlife” and the “universe” so well and it all made sense.
The animation is just beautiful and it’s amazing that such visuals can be created. The characters are all so distinctive and unique and everyone has a different look. I especially loved the design for Joe’s mother (Phylicia Rashad) and Dorathea (Angela Bassett), they had great visual characteristics. These characters aren’t silly looking cartoons either as they look like real people that are animated, and that style serves the story well. The look of the “great beyond” and the universe is very well done too, it’s all so creative and original. The cast they assembled to voice these characters all fit into their roles so well! I absolutely loved Jaime Foxx as our leading man Joe, he brings this character to life. Tina Fey was a perfect choice to play “22”. I’m a big fan of Fey’s comedic work, she is such a talented entertainer and she brings her gift of comedy to her role in this. Her character has the bulk of the comedy here and what can I say she just nails it every time. The supporting cast is great as well, Phylicia Rashad, who I love, brings a smooth soothing essence to Joe’s mother and makes that character lovable and warm. And Angela Bassett, while her role is smaller, does justice to her character too. Towards the end there’s a short but meaningful monologue delivered by Bassett that I loved, she delivers it with such conviction.
There’s a nice pace to the whole film and there really aren’t any parts that drag or fall flat. I enjoyed this film so much all the way through and the ending is especially effective. The ending to this film really did move me because it goes to a very emotionally raw place and it’s not forced or manipulative. I found it authentic and very fitting. I feel like just about anyone will enjoy Soul because we can all relate to various details in this story. I wouldn’t say this is the best Pixar film ever, but it’s one of the best for sure. The one and only criticism I have is that I would have liked a bit more in a beginning, the film sort of hits the ground running. Luckily, the film as a whole is so good that this is very quickly forgotten.
Soul is definitely one to watch with your loved ones, it’s a great family film that both the young and old can enjoy.
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