“Soul:” A New Step for Pixar



Playing jazz sends “Soul’s” Joe Gardner to “the zone,” where the rest of the world literally melts away.

Julian Concepcion, Staff Photographer

On December 25th of 2020, Pixar’s latest movie “Soul” hit televisions and theatres across the country. With the approach of Black History Month alongside the predominantly back cast, the positive reviews flooded in. 

Without giving away the entire story of the movie, “Soul” follows the life of jazz musician Joe Gardner as his simple life as a school band teacher takes a complete 180. He is caught in an accident that leaves his body comatose, but his soul is found in an ethereal setting known only as The Great Beyond. Now, Joe must find his way back home before it is too late. 

While watching this movie, I was reminded of another Pixar movie that came out a few years ago called “Inside Out.” Upon further research, I learned that both movies were made by the same staff, which became more and more evident throughout the film. The movie “Soul” was just as good, if not better, at pulling at my heartstrings the way “Inside Out” did. Something to note in the film is that it touches upon themes that relate to certain religions, such as the afterlife and pre-existence. These can be very complicated topics to include in movies, especially ones designed for both adults and children. Older movies such as 2009’s “Avatar” faced some backlash due to the movie touching on religious topics. But “Soul” manages to center an entire movie on these topics and dodge backlash. 

In addition, the new cast members mark many new firsts for the production company Pixar. For one, this movie marks the first time Pixar had an African-American lead, Jamie Foxx as Joe Gardner. It also marks the first time in 25 years that a Pixar movie has a predominantly black cast. These two newly broken barriers show the tremendous strides of the film and its cast, with positive reviews from not only the audience, but reputable review companies as well, as the film received an outstanding 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not only that, but the film will surely go down in history as one of the best black movies of the 21st century.