Soul [Grade: A]

Oh how I have this love and appreciation for Pixar and Disney. I think we all do, and maybe Pixar more than Disney. And that love and appreciation grows stronger when we see these production studios finally being more socially conscious in relationship to representation. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Soul. I enjoyed it, and I found myself having a very thought provoking conversation with a best friend following the film which shows how important its existence is to us understanding our Selves and each other. However, it also came with some hiccups, too. Furthermore, I found myself thinking about the amount of Black animation films for children that center adults as the lead vs either a black child, or an imaginary entity with the essence of a black child when compared to white animation films for children. 

* * *

Below are my grades for key components in #Soul that I find to be key in any story/film—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development.

Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the $$, Matinee Only, Stream It, & Don’t Rush.

I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale. 

* * *

Theme: A

Plot: A-

Pacing: A

Character Arc/Development: A+

Entertainment Factor: Worth the $$

* * *

The Takeaways (BOLD = Thumbs Up/Pluses & Relaxed = Thumbs Down/Missteps):

1. First and foremost, the overall animation concept was beautiful. 

2. Joe was the perfect character to follow on this journey, which also made sense with what happened in the film, too. 

3. I appreciated the film not only wasting no time with moving through the exposition, but also following through on incident unapologetically. 

4. The barbershop scene was very special. #WellDone. 

5. As an educator, I appreciated the messaging and situations that centered Joe’s understanding of others, and his impact.

6. Oh the Jerry’s and Terry! LOL Subtle, but gems! 

7. Messing with the Knicks… … … LOL LOL LOL #SoPetty! 

8. So, there weren’t any other mentors who were also Black? 

9. The Lost Souls… #SoImportant

10. Although I appreciated the different dimensions, I couldn’t help but notice loopholes that showed the challenge of making them all make sense together. 

11. And to piggyback off #10, the ending situation actually didn’t make any sense, and definitely wouldn’t have made sense had it went the other way… 

12. Sooo… are we saying that our tarot folk and meditators are omniscient and transcendent? 

13. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced an animated film where the most imaginary star of the experience is least remembered… Joe’s character really stood out more than 22. 

14. The class band, and the experience of a teacher in the US … LOL LOL So true, and such #Comedy!

15. To piggyback off #14, teachers definitely understand/know plenty of Connie’s and 22’s, and how their relationship with Joe is one that is also at the core of what it means to be an educator. 

16. Soooo… souls can “swap bodies?” 

17. I wish there was more background and clarity with the understanding of “Earth Passes”. 

18. Also, since 22 had a very unique experience with its mentor, where and why didn’t the Great Before have “this” experience available? 

* * *

Overall, the film is a well done story and film that will “spark” really interesting conversations about life, death, and existence. 

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