‘Soul’: a Pixar movie or Disney movie?

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Bickford Schmeckler, Guest Writer

Pixar’s “Soul” follows Joe’s story, a music teacher pursuing his dream to be a successful jazz pianist. On the very day Joe gets offered a full-time position teaching music, he also is presented with a once in a lifetime chance to perform with an A-listed jazz saxophonist. However, before his dreams are fulfilled, there is an accident that sends our main character Joe to the afterlife. Refusing to accept his fate, Joe struggles and fights for a way to return to human form. This fight leads Joe to the Great Before, where he meets 22, a rebellious soul that has not been assigned to human form yet. Joe does find a way to return to Earth, but not as he would have hoped. 

The top Hollywood cast bringing these characters to life include Jamie Foxx as Joe, Tiny Fey as 22, Phylicia Rashad as Libba, Joe’s Mother, and Angela Basset as Dorothea, an A-listed saxophonist. The movie is directed and co-written by Pixar veteran Pete Docter who has worked on “Monsters Inc.,” “Up” and “Inside Out.” The other writers include Mike Jones who has worked on “Evenhand” and “City of Ghosts,” and Kemp Powers who has worked on “One Night in Miami” and “Star Trek: Discovery.” “Soul” was produced by Dana Leigh Murray who worked on “Up” and “Inside Out.” 

Overall, I felt the movie was a bit lacking. The beginning showed promise, but the afterlife and Great Before seemed… more Disney and less Pixar. Pixar (pre-Disney) created high expectations and usually delivered, but it seems the Disney-Pixar combination has not panned out as well.

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