Movie Review: “Soul” delivers sharp humor and an emotionally satisfying family experience

The great thing about Pixar is that they keep trying new things to keep their experience fresh. Which is how we got “Soul”, another unique story that we’ve never seen animated on the big screen (at it’s core story at least but more on that later). But it’s a great Christmas watch for the family, and you’ll walk away happier than when you sat down.

Jamie Foxx voices Joe Gardner, a middle school band teacher, who still dreams of being a popular jazz musician. When he falls down a man-hole after getting his big break, he’s sent to the “Great Before” where he’s essentially just a being without a body. He meets Soul 22 (Tina Fey) and must fight to get his life back, and discover his true purpose.

It’s Pixar. The animation is gorgeous and it always will be. Foxx and Fey are an awesome team that will line up along the other great Disney duos like Hanks and Allen, and Goodman and Crystal. It’s story is also keeping up that trend of being on the more mature side and gets it’s viewer asking some questions after the credits have rolled.

The humor might be the sharpest of the Pixar films. A lot of hidden adult jabs.

Are there redundancies here? Yes. Other critics have compared this to “Coco” and “Inside Out” and they are some unavoidable similarities. The “Great Beyond” looks like the Rainbow Bridge. The movement in the afterlife looks a lot like a young Riley’s mind.

But “Soul” still works almost flawlessly.

During this Christmas season where a lot of us are asking questions about life, this movie’s timing is wonderful. Soul is terrific and some will find it life affirming.

And even though it’s premiering on streaming, it warrants a big screen viewing eventually.

“Soul”

GRADE: A

Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Rated: PG

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