Quick Take: Soul
Debuting on Disney Plus today is Soul, Pixar's second animated release this year following Onward. Soul is about a junior high school teacher named Joe (Jamie Foxx), who dreams of making it big as a jazz pianist. One day when he gets an incredible gig to play that night it finally seems like his dream is about to come true...that is, until he hits a bit of a snag. Joe's soul is sent to another dimension after he falls into an unexpected coma. With the help of another spirit known simply as 22 (Tina Fey), he must find his way back to earth to make it home in time for his gig, all the while showing 22 the joys of being alive.
Soul is an easy movie to admire because there was so much creativity that went into crafting it. The film tackles a lot of difficult themes and overall has a really beautiful message to share. That said, the film bites off way more than it can chew. Pixar really seems to be forgetting who its audience is with this one as it delivers a film that seems way too high concept to appeal to the attention spans of children. Inside Out was great because it appealed to something kids understand: emotions, but I can't think of many kids that are wrestling with existentialism. Soul ultimately just has too much going on. It is definitely missing the simplicity and charm of Pixar's earlier works. While there is certainly an audience for this movie, especially as it already seems to be loved by many, it just wasn't for me.