Sunday, 27 December 2020

Film Review: "Soul" (2020).

"Everybody has a soul. Joe Gardner is about to find his" in Soul. This computer-animated comedy-drama film co-directed by Pete Doctor and Kemp Powers, written by Doctor, Powers and Mike Jones, and produced by Pixar Animation Studios. A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.

In January 2016, a new film was announced with Doctor as director. In June 2018, it was announced that Docter was planning to complete his film despite being appointed Chief Creative Officer at Pixar after John Lasseter's departure. In June 2019, Pixar announced the film's title as Soul with a synopsis released on Twitter. In late August, during the 2019 D23 Expo, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were announced to be composing the film's score, while Jon Batiste was announced to be writing jazz songs for the film. The film was originally set for a June 19, 2020 release date. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was delayed to November 20, 2020. Ultimately, in early October 2020, the film's theatrical release was cancelled in favour of releasing the film on Disney+. However, unlike Mulan (2020), the film will not be a "premiere access" for an additional price, but will be free for all subscribers.

The film features the voice talents of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, Angela Bassett, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Richard Ayoade, Alice Braga, Wes Studi, Donnell Rawlings, June Squibb, Esther Chae, Sakina Jaffrey, Cathy Cavadini, and John Ratzenberger. The usual brilliant animation by Pixar and great voice acting by the likes of Foxx, Fey, and Bassett just make this unusual film that much better.

An ingenious, moving story about the phenomenon of life and death, as well as the human condition, that delights older and younger viewers alike. The film is as funny as it is emotional. It's a rare comedy that can bring both tears of sadness and joy to your eyes, sometimes within seconds of each other. Even after having a narrative so magnified that it focuses on the human experience of one person, it remains universal and penetrating. Great filmmaking is empathetic. It lets us experience the world through the eyes of someone else, and connects a specific experience to a larger, shared whole. The film is great filmmaking. The film displays a keen understanding of childhood and its most precious joys and deepest fears, synthesizing them into something that is instantly relatable to children and adults alike. The film's philosophical script is matched both by its visual splendor, often invoking the spirit of Miyazaki, and its humanist reach, which extends to both family and friend alike. The film lovingly explores the complex interplay of life and death with Pixar's apparently endless talent for innovation and visual design. Overall, Disney Pixar does an amazing job on digging into people's feelings and the importance of letting people know how to live.

Simon says Soul receives:

Also, see my reviews for Inside Out and Onward.

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