AnnaSophia Bates, Copy Editor

With an all-star cast and an iconic director, “Soul” explores what makes you… you. When Joe Gardner [Jamie Foxx], a middle school band director, gets the gig of his life, he is simply on top of the world. That is, until he falls into a manhole. He then finds himself in the “You Seminar,” [previously known as “The Great Before,”] the place where souls get their personalities before being born.
There he meets Soul 22 [Tina Fey], a soul who has no interest in going to Earth and doesn’t see the point in life. Throughout the movie, Joe tries to get back to Earth in time for his big performance and show 22 why life is worth living. When I saw the trailer for this film, I was intrigued. Pixar has been known for its heartwarming classics, and a movie about the joys of life is crucial now as people around the world struggle with suicidal thoughts and intense depression. This film had the potential to inspire a ray of hope to the hopeless.
Being an original Pixar movie, it was bound to be a fantastic, touching classic movie. With such actors as Foxx, Fey and Daveed Diggs, it should have been another home run for Pixar. However, I found “Soul” to be slightly disappointing. The plot felt wishy-washy, as it bounced from focusing to Joe to focusing on 22 and back again. The movie also felt like a lazy combination of Pixar’s “Coco” and “Inside Out.” Despite this, it tried. It still showed that life is worth living, and in classic Pixar fashion, made a point that it’s the little things in life. Overall, it was touching. Along with the sweet moments, there were complex characters.
Throughout the film, there were great jokes and funny moments that really added to the story. The best word for it would be “okay.” The message of the film was diluted with side plots and unnecessary predicaments that were only distracting.
However, it had an intriguing concept and engaging, hilarious characters. Is it worth watching? While this film didn’t turn out to be one of the highlights of the dark ages of self-isolation that we may have hoped it would be, “Soul” is still worth watching. Sure, it certainly isn’t a movie night classic like “Star Wars” or “Avengers,” but if you have some time, maybe on a quiet summer afternoon, sit down for an hour and 49 minutes and experience the feel-good adventure in the world of Joe Gardner. n