directed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers
Joe Gardner is a middle school band teacher whose life hasn’t gone exactly how he expected. He feels unfulfilled at his current job, and he knows that with his excellent piano skills, his true passion is jazz. One of his former students informs Joe of an opening in the band of the legend Dorothea Williams. Dorothea is impressed by Joe’s piano playing and offers him a job immediately. Joe gets the amazing opportunity to play at the best jazz club in town that night. However, in the streets of New York, Joe falls down a manhole transporting his soul into the “Great Beyond”, a foyer with a long walkway, where souls line up going to a white light. Not wanting to die so soon, he escapes the pathway and ends up in the “Great Before”, a place where young souls are mentored to discover their personalities and sparks before going to Earth. Because Joe is determined to get back to Earth somehow, he pretends to be an instructor who trains souls. Joe is given a girl who is only known by her number, 22. 22 is a soul who does not like Earth and finds it pointless. Joe desperately tries everything he can to get 22 to find her purpose and passion. Doing so, Joe learns what it means to have a soul.
Soul is a funny, moving, and incredibly animated film. The film is all about life journey and finding your “spark”. The movie showcases the journey of finding your true purpose by helping each other. The concept is unique and thought-provoking for older audiences, yet still funny and relatable for children. I loved the deeply moving message of appreciating the gift of life. This is a must-watch for the entire family!
Reviewed by Emily K.