George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
Pixars Christmas present to the world has finally arrived. Soul isn't only one of Pixars best, but also a deep-rooted look at life itself that will undoubtedly impact audiences around the world. Once again directed by Pete Docter alongside Kemp Powers and starring Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Ahmir Khalib Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs and a few surprise cameos, the story follows a musician who lost his passion for music, who is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul “22” who’s learning about herself.
It almost feels like an eternity since Onward debuted. Since then Covid has ravaged much of our day to day life, WB has caused the death of cinema and this account has grown and kickstarted me writing more (thank you all!). It's been a long time and it's hard to think that Onward really did come out this year. However, unlike many, I was left sadly underwhelmed with Onward, sure it's a good movie and all but it was far too predictable for my liking and despite holding some emotional moments, didn’t hold much else for me. However, Soul was completely different. Soul took the story in a much more intriguing, personal root and genuinely interested me a lot more then many movies this year. The marketing for this film was phenomenal, it left out some "big twists" and included many of the lesser scenes that still managed to draw viewers in. This allowed one very big twist to come as a complete surprise and moved the story in a way I never would have guessed. Granted I've only watched one of the trailers, but the way it was executed, surprisingly and incredibly effectively was brilliant to experience and worked incredibly well for the film.
On top of that, the story is effective and alongside the stunning vibrant animation, works a treat for any animation fan. It's a tough film to tackle without getting into spoilers, whilst the first act was great and the second undoubtedly slowed a bit, the third packs a punch no one can ignore. There's a profound message to Soul that touched me. Life is worth living doing what you believe is right for you, and that's probably the best message of any Pixar movie thus far. Once the third act concludes, you're left impacted by what you just saw and that for me, works better than any message that could have been. I was touched by it and for what is an animated film about the meaning of life, I was left profoundly impacted once it reached the conclusion.
Pete Docter's name is practically synonymous with quality filmmaking at this point and Soul is no different. It is perhaps the most ambitious film ever attempted by Disney whilst also being arguably its most adult. It pops with colourful visuals and gentle wisdom while the story clips along despite the dizzying height of the concept. The film is visually glorious, it's frequently funny and is genuinely profound to not only younger viewers but adult ones as well. It's a film that cries out to be seen on the big screen and genuinely deserves to be, but for Disney Plus, it stands as the best exclusive on their platform and a nice Christmas treat for fans of new or old.
Soul represents another milestone for Pixar as it successfully mixes beautiful animation, inspiring music and strong voice acting to create a uniquely brilliant experience. It's wonderful, impactful and has a deeper thematical reasoning behind it then many of Pixar's filmography and for me, is one I'll be watching time and time again. I genuinely loved it and I hope you will too.
2020 Releases Ranked
Pixar's Filmography Ranked
Happy Holidays everyone, I hope you have a great and safe day!