January 01, 2021

Soul movie review & summary - Last animated movie of the year 2020 !!!

Good animated movie of 2020
Soul movie review and summary

Soul is the last animated movie of the year 2020, produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The story revolves around a middle-aged struggling jazz pianist Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx). Joe teaches music to kids at school but aspires to be a famous musician. With the help of his former student Curley, Joe stumbles upon an opportunity to play with jazz legend Dorothea Williams. Excited about this opportunity Joe blindly walks across the road and falls into a manhole, and ends up comatose. Joe's soul is sent to Great beyond, a place where all the dead go. With an unfulfilled desire and not ready to die yet, Joe works his way back to earth.

Soul movie review and summary
Joe Gardner in Soul

Lately, animated movies have sought solace in the concept of death. Many movies such as Coco, Onward, Over the Moon, etc are based on the concept of death and so does Soul. Though these movies convey a beautiful message about life and death, I am skeptical about how it's gonna work with kids.

The trailer of Soul was a complete turn-off for me. Neon-colored animation that depicts the soul and the characters in great beyond seemed like a low-quality drawing. It also gave me the impression that the whole movie is gonna be about those neon-colored characters. And that very reason made me not to watch this movie for a few days even after the release. These Neon characters remind me of the characters in Over The Moon which was also a disappointment. Along with that protagonist is a middle-aged man which was another turn-off. But the movie wasn't as bad as I assumed it to be.

soul movie review and summary
Soul No. 22 with Joe

It takes a while for the movie to pick up the pace, hang on to it until the arrival of soul number 22 (Tina Fey) at Great before. Soul no. 22 is the one who adds some comic essence and converts a dragging movie into an entertaining one. 

Great beyond and Great before are the two worlds. As the name implies souls of the dead goes to Great beyond and young souls are prepared for the earth in Great before. While Joe working his way back to earth from Great beyond he accidentally goes to Great before. Joe is mistakenly assigned a task to mentor soul no. 22 to find her spark. Souls of many great personalities such as Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Muhammad Ali, Abraham Lincoln, etc tried to mentor soul no 22 in the past but failed to help her.

Best animated movie of 2020
Jerry and Terry in Soul movie

Soul no. 22 introduces Joe to Moonwind, the one who guides the lost soul back to their body. While Moonwind is in the process of finding Joe's body,  Joe jumps back to earth along with soul no. 22 in a haste. Joe ends up in a cat's body and soul no. 22 ends up in Joe's body. And that's how the adventure begins. To fulfill his dream, Joe in the cat's body has to guide soul no. 22 in Joe's body to play the gig.

Soul getting exchanged and ending up in the wrong bodies is not new to us. We have seen it in decade-old movies and recently we have seen a much similar plot in Spies in Disguise where Lance Sterling's (Will Smith) soul ends up in a pigeon's body. Since both the movies overlap with a common plot, I did one to one comparison and I found Spies in Disguise to be a little more funnier and entertaining than Soul. That being said Soul conveys a better message about the purpose of life.

Coming back to the story, soul no 22 who was once reluctant to go the earth realizes life on earth isn't bad as she imagined and falls in love with it. Eventually, soul no 22 refrains to give back Joe's body to Joe. Meanwhile Terry, an accountant who manages the number of souls in great beyond finds that a soul is missing and comes in search of Joe to earth. Terry manages to catch both Joe and soul no 22 and takes them back to the other side.

The rift between Joe and Soul 22 continues but finally, Joe realizes that he has enjoyed his life on earth, and Soul no 22 deserves a chance.  Soul no 22 gets the earth pass and goes to earth. Amazed by Joe's mentorship in helping soul no 22 to find her spark, Jerry gives another opportunity for Joe to go back to earth.

Overall Soul is a good animated movie but not the best. Nothing new about the high-level plot but still Disney and Pixar have managed to deliver it well. Not a kind of movie that kids will love, but it's a movie for adults who are confused about their purpose in life. It's also a second animated movie that I have seen with a black lead character, the first being "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

Rating : ⭐⭐⭐☆☆

Soul movie trailer

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