You gotta put some ‘Soul’ in it

Disney Pixar’s ‘Soul’ now a Golden Globe winner, Academy Award nominee


“Joe Gardner” is getting ready for a performance of his life.

Tatiana Martinez, Reporter

What is life about? Were we put on this earth to do just one thing? What is our purpose? I found myself asking these questions after watching the newest movie from Pixar, “Soul.” 

“Soul” takes us on a journey with “Joe Gardner,” an aspiring jazz musician, and “Soul 22.” Joe is finally presented the opportunity he’s always dreamed of, to be a part of a band. Once he is presented the opportunity to be a part of a band, he falls down into a sewer and nearly dies. His soul is sent to the Great Beyond, but he bypasses it and goes to the Great Before. Once in the Great Before, he meets Soul 22 and tries to help them find their spark.


As they go through their journey together of finding out who they are, you feel as if you’re going on a journey with them. I am a movie fanatic. I have watched so many movies, good, bad, old, and new. There are only a few that make me genuinely question my entire life. This movie is one of those where I had to stop and think, what am I here for? What is the point of our lives if not our ambitions?

This beautiful animation asks these large and looming questions that we try not to dwell on. For children, it is enjoyable and funny, but for the older crowd, it almost causes an existential crisis. One line that stuck out to me was that if we let our obsessions control us, we miss out on life. 

“Joe” is so set on being a musician that he is losing out on human connections and joy in his life. The film is an amazing way to show the balance that is needed in life because it is written on a level as to where a 2nd grader can understand its importance. 

Human connection is something that we have been missing lately, and it’s so easy to forget the importance of it. I have always been a shy person, but when I was around people in school, I was a bit more confident and could talk to people. I was able to connect with others.

Now, it’s a bit harder for me to talk with others and be close to people, and it makes me miss the connections that we make on a day to day basis. It’s so important because it’s how we learn and see different perspectives. 

Later on, “Joe” is obsessed with just getting to his gig, and is so obsessed with his music, he overlooks all of the people he inspires in his life. His students fall in love with music; they find their thing. 

“Joe” comes to realize that music isn’t his whole life. That being in a band isn’t his biggest dream after all. He loves it, but there is so much more to life than what meets the eye. He misses out on some of the greatest things in life because of the obsession.

It is the best part of the movie, because children and adults can learn from being too obsessed with something. It’s ok to have something you love in your life that you’re passionate about, but it can’t overtake you. 

The whole movie teaches you all of these different things that you will take with you for the rest of your life. The funny part is that I learned all of this from a children’s movie that’s rated PG. Not only does it have a beautiful plot and lessons, but the animation is amazing. 

I was looking at the stills of “Joe Gardner’s room,” and when you first see it, it looks like a real-life room. The characters all look different and are all different races. Imagine how it’ll affect kids when they see a Hispanic character, an Asian character, and a Black leading character. There is a reason why “Soul” is being awarded and nominated for one of the best animated films as you can see the details that made the movie even better.

I remember when I watched “Coco”  I was overjoyed because all the characters reminded me of someone from my family. They were all Mexicans talking about one of our biggest holidays. When I watched “Soul” and saw “Joe,” I was so happy for there to be another Disney film with a Black leading role who had his body shown for a majority of the movie. I do wish his soul wasn’t in a cat, but I am glad that you get to see all the different connections he was able to make with others.