Lily Jarosik’s “Soul” movie review

On Dec. 25, 2020, Disney Pixar released a new animated movie called “Soul”, now out on Disney+. The show is about a black musician, Joe Gardner, in New York who was a middle school music teacher, living a life he perceived to be boring and purposeless. His passion was to book gigs and become a well-known jazz musician. Unfortunately, he was stuck in the cycle of a life that he didn’t love. A friend of his calls him, telling him he is going to play a gig with Dorthea Williams. Joe is transported into a world of excitement.

Joe Gardner is giddy with excitement, and falls comically down a sewer into a dark, unfulfilling void, just as he was beginning to see hope for his passion in life. He quickly figures out that this void is the afterlife and he’s on a conveyor belt to a fuzzy ball of light, which he quickly realizes is the conveyor belt to his death.

Joe scrambles about in fear and manages to find himself tumbling through the black void through dimensions as colors fly around him in a blur. He is transported into the Great Before, which is a place where unborn souls are assigned personalities and interests before they are launched into the earth as a complete soul. Joe Gardner passes off as a mentor, which is a soul that has passed on and been assigned a new soul to help them find their “spark”. This spark is the last puzzle piece to an unborn soul’s personality that gives them the ticket to enter earth.

Joe becomes a mentor without the intention to help anybody, but with the full intention to get himself the ticket back onto earth so he could finish the gig. He doesn’t expect to be paired with earth-avoiding soul 22. Soul 22 wants nothing to do with finding a spark and is stubborn and unwilling to spend any time on earth. Soul 22 changes Joe’s life in a way he never thought would happen and he learns an incredible amount about his life on earth including the way that his soul works.

Disney Pixar’s “Soul” is a great movie for all ages and an inspiration for many. The story opens the eyes of countless people and the purpose of it can be greatly interpreted. Personally, I felt the inspiration to purely enjoy life for how it is. Sometimes people spend too much time focusing on their purpose in life, when in reality, searching for your purpose may leave you with nothing at all. 

Joe Gardner learns in his journey with Soul 22, in his brief riveting techno afterlife, that inspiration can come just by living a little bit.