‘Soul’- Pixar strikes gold for both parents and children

Spoiler Warning: This article includes spoilers for the ending of Pixar’s “Soul”

Pixar Animations Studio is Disney’s most famous subsidiary. Pixar is known for making emotional and touching films for both parents and kids alike. Their new film “Soul”, is one of the most impactful films, as it explores the meaning and purpose of life, and carries messages for people of all ages.

“Soul” was originally supposed to be released in June of 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back to Christmas of this year. The film stars Jamie Foxx as Joe Gardner and Tina Fey as a soul named 22. Both actors do a fantastic job telling the story of Joe Gardner, a struggling musician who dies after getting his first big gig.

“Soul”’s biggest strength may be that there isn’t an explicit message at the end of the film. People are left to interpret it as they wish.

Maddy Lepore, a Hillcrest alumni who graduated in 2017 interpreted “Soul” in a personal way.

“My main takeaway is that the most important thing in life is to enjoy the little things. We only get one life, and should try to enjoy as much of it as we can,” Lepore stated.

Lepore went on to explain how Gardner’s journey of achieving his dream did not bring him complete happiness.

Critics have discussed how “Soul” produces messages for people of all ages. Ian Pfeil, a senior at Hillcrest, saw “Soul” as a bit of a guide and discovery tool.

“I would say the movie could apply to kids from the age of 7 to 20 because for a lot of kids, they’re trying to figure out what career they want to go into for their future and I think this movie can really help a lot of young people realize what they want to do,” Pfiel shared.

Conversely, Lepore saw “Soul” as a tool for individuals who were older. 

“The age demographic for this movie is best for 18-25 year olds. I’m 21, and I often find myself overly stressing about my future, my career, and my “life’s purpose”, to a point where it is unhealthy and I forget to truly enjoy life,” she said. “This movie was a great reminder that beauty can be found in the smallest things in life,” Lepore shared.

“Soul” is a brilliantly made film. Director Pete Docter uses the story of Joe Gardner to show that dreams aren’t the only thing to life. Joe finally achieves his dream after returning to his life and he’s disappointed to not feel fulfilled. He realizes the special moments with his mom, the taste of pizza, and helping others is what truly made him happy. He ends the movie with deciding to truly “live” life, as he is given another chance.

While “Soul” certainly has a Pixar blanket around it, it carries themes that may resonate much more with older audiences. It’s brilliant how it includes jokes and gaffs for younger audiences while deep themes can impact older audiences and make them really analyze their own lives. 

“Soul” is a brilliant film from Pixar, and everyone should view the film and take away whatever they can from it. Soul is a 9.5/10, and can be viewed on Disney+ with a $6.99 per month subscription.