JWMS Newspaper Club
Movie Review: Soul by Ani B.
Pixar Animation Studios has produced a lot of wonderful movies--Onward, Coco, Toy Story, and more. Released on Christmas Day through Disney+, Soul is Pixar's brand new heartwarming movie that is entertaining for all ages.
The main message throughout the film is to enjoy and be grateful for your life even though it is hard. Joe Gardener (voiced by Jamie Foxx) is a middle school band teacher who struggles with the need to find a stable job and his desire to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz musician. Through his wonderful talent for playing the piano, Joe Gardner lands a gig with Dorothea Williams, a jazz legend. To his surprise, he steps into a new world after having an accident on the street. As his journey goes on, Joe finds himself thinking he didn’t have the best life since he spent his time teaching middle school band instead of becoming a jazz musician, which is the career he wanted. In the end, Joe learns to accept that he lived a meaningful life.
Meet The Characters:
Meet Joe Gardner:
Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) is a middle-aged, middle school band teacher who loves jazz even as a young kid growing up. He does everything he can to make his dream of becoming a jazz musician come true, but he later realizes that his life wasn’t as bad as he thought. He taught so many students, had a lot of friends, and so much more.
22 (voiced by Tina Fey) isn’t a real human. She's a soul. Souls aren’t born until they send themselves back to Earth as newborn babies. They need to become inspired or find a hobby like basketball, art, or swimming. 22 is a hysterical, mischievous soul who doesn’t want to be sent to Earth. She gains a different perspective than before and starts changing her mind as the journey continues.
Meet Libba Gardner:
Libba (voiced by Phylicia Rashad) is Joe Gardner's mother who works in a successful tailor shop but wants her son to become a teacher and not a jazz musician because of what happened to Joe's father. In the end, she starts feeling proud of what her son has become and changes her mind as the movie continues.
Dez (voiced by Donnell Rawlings) is Joe's longtime barber. He is friendly and a good listener. The only thing Joe and Dez talk about is jazz.
Curly (voiced by Ahmir Thompson “Questlove”) is one of Joe Gardner’s former students and the drummer in Dorothea Williams' jazz band at the Half Note Club. When Dorothea Williams finds herself in need of a new pianist, Curly suggests his favorite band teacher, Joe Gardner.
Meet Dorothea Williams:
Dorothea Williams (voiced by Angela Bassett) is a talented, world famous saxophonist. She takes her band seriously but gives Joe Garner the opportunity to perform with her at the Half Note Club.
In his life on Earth, Moonwind (voiced by Graham Norton) has to twirl and hold up a sign in the corner of the street. He helps lost souls from their uninspired or boring life find inspiration and happiness again.
The job of Terry (voiced by Rachel House) is to keep track of souls at "The Great Beyond," which is the entrance of death.
Meet The Counselors:
The counselors (voiced by Richard Ayoade, Alice Braga, Fortune Feimster, Zenobia Shroff, and Wes Studi) are supposed to keep The Great Beyond and The Great Before organized and running smoothly. (The Great Beyond is the path to death, and The Great Before is where unborn souls reside before they are sent to Earth as newborn babies.)
Overall, Soul is an inspirational, thought-provoking movie that will brighten your day. Through Joe Garner's story, the film illustrates the importance of being grateful and finding one's purpose. At the end of the movie, when asked how he is going to spend his life, Joe responds with these powerful last words: “I’m not sure, but I do know, I'm gonna live every minute of it."