The Takeaway: Soul

I know I haven’t written any reviews in a long time, but this movie has been the first one my list for a while. I forced my family to watch it with me on Christmas day. They weren’t super invested in it to begin with, but near the end of the movie I could tell they were enjoying it.

The magnitude of depth that Disney went into about life and purpose and the afterlife and our personalities is awesome. The visuals are stunning and the sounds and everything from the piano to the barbershop to the street are amazing. Not to mention they accurately portrayed POC throughout the movie. The haircuts were very satisfying for me personally. I won’t speak on the current controversy surrounding the movie because it’s not really a complaint for me to make. But to the people who feel angry about it, I hear you and I wish for Disney to make those changes as well.

I would definitely not recommend this movie for smaller children. It’s much more for older children and adults (which is unusual for Disney). The creatures that represent “lost souls” are pretty scary and I’m afraid that smaller kids might not take it too well. There’s also a lot of questions that I’m sure they would have after the movie, especially about what life’s purpose is. It’s a tad complex.

Older kids, teenagers, and adults can definitely find something wonderful from this movie. The whole plot is about Joe and his idea that he was born to play piano and his discovery that life is not about a single purpose or passion. As I mentioned previously, the story is centered around the purpose of life. And that’s the purpose: to be alive. If we watch this movie with open minds, I believe we will find a new passion for living. Just true, undeterred living. Like the office worker that was a lost soul in the movie. Or like 22.

I especially appreciate the barbershop scene and while, yes I am a barber, I relate to that part. I wasn’t always born to do hair and I thought I would have been doing something else. It didn’t become a passion until I was already halfway through beauty school. And I really love what I do. It’s not my “purpose” necessarily, but it is something that makes me feel alive.

Another aspect of this movie that stood out to me was the mentoring of the character 22 and her love of discovering all these great things. She discovers that things on earth can be amazing and that she truly wants to become someone. Joe mentors her without even realizing he’s mentoring her and shows her how wonderful being alive can truly be. And when it comes time for them to go their separate ways, Joe is accepting of 22 and her newfound passion for living.

This movie is cute and funny (Terry is freaking fantastic) and I usually don’t watch movies many times but this one is worth it. It’s a lot like Inside Out except it didn’t make everyone cry like babies (I’m looking at you Bing Bong). I really appreciate Disney and Pixar for the effort they put into creating this movie and I’m looking forward to more like it in the future. This was very…soul-stirring.

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