Pixar’s Soul is about a junior high band teacher who has lost his love for music. Joe, voiced by Jamie Foxx, gets his dream job playing in a Harlem Jazz club but he unfortunately falls into a manhole and ends up in the hospital fighting for life, but his soul ends up in the great beyond where Joe tries to convince anyone who will listen to him that he doesn’t belong there.
Soul is a very soulful work of cinema with beautiful tapestries of jazz that give the artform plenty of respect. All the jazz club scenes are filled with great improvisational solos that truly set the mood of the film and show the great love for jazz from all of the musicians on stage.
In contrast, the scenes from the great beyond create a true alternate universe where souls float toward their final resting place. It’s a destination Joe has no desire to reach. The afterlife scenes make Joe realize that he has taken his life for granted and he desperately wants to get back to it.
Joe soon discovers that the great beyond is a place where souls can mentor other “blips” and find a way to be happy if and when they get the opportunity to return to Earth. Joe ends up mentoring a soul, voiced by Tina Fey, who’s simply known as “22.” 22 has become cynical and has rejected mentorship from some great humans, including Abe Lincoln and Carl Jung. It’s Joe’s job to mentor 22 and get her back to a positive outlook, which will then allow Joe to return to earth.
SOUL opens on Disney+ on Christmas Day. It’s a great movie for young and old. Who knows, it may also give the young kids in the house somewhat of an appreciation of jazz music. I loved Soul and on my “Hollywood Popcorn Scale” I rate it a JUMBO.