Disney’s “Soul” the Perfect Family Movie Night 

Mira Henry ‘24

Imagine, you have received the opportunity of a lifetime. Everything is finally making sense in your crazy world, but just one small accident and everything is gone. Pixar's new movie “Soul” is about a middle school jazz teacher, named Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx)  who just got the job of his life at a jazz club and suffers a near death experience. He is sent to the afterlife where he contemplates his life decisions and discovers the true meaning of life. 


The movie opens with Joe falling into an open manhole in the streets of New York City and ending up half dead in a hospital. Prior to that, Joe is a middle school substitute band teacher who hates his job and has just been offered a full-time position when a former student of his reaches out to him with the opportunity to play for Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett) a jazz legend. She invites him to play with her for the evening. On his way home he falls into the manhole and ends up at the entrance to the great beyond. Wanting anything but death he tries to run from it and he finds himself in the “great before,” the place where souls find their personalities before going to earth. The great before is run by soul counselors named Jerry who are 2D platonic forms. 


Joe knows he's not supposed to be there so he takes the place of a Mentor, who helps new Souls find their spark in life. He is paired with 22 (Tina Fey), a soul who could not care less about life. 22 has been mentored by some of Earth's most influential figures, such as Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa. Much to 22s relief Joe really isn't there to help 22 find a spark and the two agree to work together. Throughout the rest of the movie, Joe tries to return to his life, and 22 experiences the joy of living. The two together discover the true meaning of life. 


This movie was released on December 25, 2020, on Disney Plus and directed by Pete Docter. It has been nominated for 2 Golden Globes, 4 NAACP awards, and many others. One of the main awards this movie is up for is its animation, which was excellent in my opinion. The lack of definite shapes and forms in the great before and beyond adding an aspect of fantasy to the movie and the real-looking buildings in the streets of New York allow you to really see the difference between the two worlds. 


This movie is perfect for a family movie night with younger family members because it targets older and younger audiences. For younger children, this movie is full of color and light attracting attention, and it brings a sense of comedy, which is something children love. For the older viewers, it shows us that life is our greatest blessing because we very rarely get a second chance at it. And it might remind you what makes you, you.  


Overall, I give this movie a 9 out of 10, taking away one point because Joe’s passion was jazz, but the movie didn’t incorporate a lot of the history and culture of the music. But other than that animation, acting and writing make this movie an excellent choice for any family movie night.