Soul: Animated Movie Review

10개월 전

Hello dear Steemit community. As you know, we are getting closer to the 93rd Academy Awards. Therefore, today I will share with you one of the films that, despite being animated, has managed to be one of my favorites. This is "Soul", an original Disney Pixar story that has captivated more than one. The question is… What is it about this animated film that has caused so much fuss?


Soul follows the life of Joe Gardner, a jazz music teacher whose only dream is to reach the peak of success with the piano. The problem is that when he finally succeeds, he is unexpectedly surprised by death. Joe travels to a great dimension where souls prepare to travel to the "Great After", a great white portal that reminds me of "the light at the end of the tunnel."

Refusing to accept his death, Joe recoils in the opposite direction to the light, and between stumbling and astonishment, he falls into a void that leads him to the "Great Before", where souls prepare to go to earth and consume the birth. There he gets number 22, a soul that refuses to be born. He, posing as her mentor, makes a pact with her to earn a "pass" that will bring him back to life, not knowing that in the process he will know that what he tries so hard to call "life" is nothing more than a totally wrong concept.

The philosophy of life and the existential crisis.


One of the most interesting characteristics of this animated film is its philosophy. Soul presents life and death to us as a "great whole", we are born, but before we already existed. We die, but we will continue to exist. Some questions are obvious: Do we come into the world with a purpose? Are we the unique architects of our destiny? Did someone write our destiny long before we were born?

Soul plays with these questions to show us a different perspective on life. If we analyze Joe Gardner, we will notice in him a desperate obsession to achieve success and be recognized as the "great musician that he is". Of course, he rambles on his own assumptions. He has tried so hard to reach the stars that he has not noticed that his rocket ship is still parked, even though he has the engines running. He is stuck in his own dreams, disillusioned with a destiny that gives him no more than a few hours of perfidious stardom to teach the art of jazz to elementary school children. Joe wants more than that, of course.

When we think we are big but we continue to see ourselves small in front of the mirror, nostalgia will soon demolish our soul. At the end of the day, do we have to settle for what we are? Joe does not do it, but in the process he does not seek to improve himself, rather he deviates down the path that leads to fame, to applause, to that ostentatious pretense that he reveals to us before the world. He needed to be recognized, praised, brought into the memory of history just as we remember Ellington and Gillespie, great jazz masters to name a few examples.

This misguided idealism is what drives Joe's drama and it is highly reflected in modern society. We conceptualize life as a race for athletes, perhaps a triathlon where everyone obtains a similar medal but through a different discipline. The wonderful way in which the film's director Pete Docter shows us this fact is to be commended. Through different scenes and planes we can see that contrast. The one I liked the most: the scene in which 22 and Joe travel in the New York subway shows a lot that “existential crisis”. The pedestrians that house the wagons look like the walking dead, lost in their problems and overburdened with the hard blow of work, debt and stress.

Joe doesn't want to look in that mirror, he wants something different for the rest of his life. However, he is also an undead, although of a different kind. In that questioning on which we insist to move away from the "simple", we find the reality of: "either take it, or leave it." Before making a decision, we should at least think about what really makes us happy. Because it is not about fulfilling it, it is about enjoying it.

Passion vs obsession


Another issue that Soul tackles is the fragile line between obsession and passion. When do we know that we go from one to the other? This is reflected in "The Zone" a place where souls travel when inspiration puts them in a trance that leads them to disconnect from the world. The Zone is that metaphor in which that cosmic journey that we undertake is visualized when we like what we do so much that we inevitably let ourselves be carried away by passion, dedication and spiritual pleasure. But on the other hand, it is also the embodiment of what ends up leading us to perdition. So it is also a place for "lost souls."

It is easy to turn a passion into an obsession; Joe himself is a sample of this. He was not satisfied with the fact that he liked being a musician; rather he wanted to spread this feeling to many more people. That was his obsession, which he ironically started with what he was most passionate about: playing the piano. He did not play that instrument to enjoy himself, but to please that fervent desire for fame.

This message that the movie addresses made some lumps in my throat. Thinking about life beyond our passions is something completely difficult. The point itself is that, on the way to the top, we encounter irony. Joe from the beginning wanted to be just as famous as that musician he heard when he accompanied his father to a restaurant, that is, he wanted to be like him. We continue to see that pattern in our reality. We want to be like that soccer star, that famous writer or that incomparable actor. The only problem, which will also be the starting point of our obsession, is that we will never be like them. After all, the path to acceptance begins with accepting ourselves.

Learn to live or die trying?


In Soul we have two opposing characters in attitude, but with very similar aspects and thoughts. On the one hand there is Joe Gardner, the musician who strives to come back to life to fulfill "his great moment", and on the other hand we have number 22, a soul who refuses to live because he claims "he does not have that passion and purpose ”that leads her to gain the spark that gives the pass to the earth and therefore, to birth. We see how both characters have a bad concept of life: Joe, who lives without living, and number 22, who does not find his "place" in existence.

If we analyze the great before, we will notice that the souls that are prepared there for the "spark" are assigned to some mentor who, curiously, was a relevant personality on earth, such as a great religious, or a great basketball player, or perhaps a great scientist. Sports, or music, or science are shown to these souls so that they can find a vocation that will earn them their pass to earth. The Spark itself is nothing more than that innate talent with which we are born, that aspiration that we all wish to achieve at some time and that makes us say “I was born for this” or “this is my purpose of existence”. But are we really born with a purpose?

When Joe and number 22 travel to earth, we are learning that "I was born for this" is totally false and that it only represents an absurd dogma. Upon returning to life, Joe realizes that he is in the body of a cat and that number 22 is in his body. He begins to see his life from a different angle, now with 4 legs and wild senses, he knows that his life is empty and completely monotonous. Number 22, however, is contagious with the energy of life through a body that does not belong to her, but with which she feels very familiar. She likes to smell bad, ride the subway, eat pizza, talk to barbers… Is life really that great? She understands that in life we are not born predestined to excel in something, but that along the way we gradually find our place.

Positive Aspects of the film


• A great script that addresses the topic of life in a unique and original way.

  • The new perception of an animated film for children and adults in general with a deep and philosophical theme.
  • The clear message dedicated to a part of society that only strives to live to have the love of others.

• The soundtrack and animation

Negative aspects of the film.

• Terry XD.


Overall opinion of the film.

Very good. Pixar has certainly done it again. The film is well put together, the characters well elaborated and the theme well woven through very emotional scenes. Soul is a story that is enjoyed from beginning to end, that forces you to weigh in how you lead your life and even to reflect on it. For this reason she is the strongest candidate to win the Oscar for best animated film...

Soul: Official Trailer

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