2020 was a big year for Pixar, with the releases of both Onward and Soul. Two large and accessible films for a wide audience, but at the same time with different enough themes not to compete with each other. Even when I saw the two films close to each other.
Soul is about a teacher and jazz pianist. He is a teacher by profession, and a jazz pianist in his spare time. His dream is to play music full time. But things have not gone his way. Then a chance arises, but death gets in the way.
The poster for the film also says a lot about what you get. It is a mix of styles to distinguish the real world from the after life. It is the main character and the cat who becomes his companion. There is music, New York and brilliant creatures.
The main role is called Joe, and the film is his journey towards reaching his goals and finding meaning in life. A road that will not be quite as easy as he hoped and thought. And this is where the film is at its best, when the underlying serious theme bubbles to the surface. Closely followed by the humor, which is an important part of Pixar's films.
I have heard a lot of praise about Soul, and I agree a lot that it is a good movie. What it is not good at, however, is balancing tempo, length of scenes and general flow and progress. For my part, the film could have been trimmed down a bit here and there, especially in some scenes from the after life.
Apart from this, I notice that there is a lot of good music in the film to appreciate. I enjoy the high level of the animated scenes from New York. And in general, I think this is a great movie.