Pixar’s ‘Soul’ provides a vigorous go to to prepandemic New York
For the latest installment of the Original Content podcast, we looked back on “Soul,” which was released on Disney + late last year.
The new Pixar movie tells the story of Joe Gardner, a high school music teacher and jazz musician voiced by Jamie Foxx. Joe appears to be about to take his big break when he accidentally falls into an open manhole, sending him on a distinctly Pixar-esque twist in the afterlife and ultimately on a metaphysical search for a return to his body before an important concert.
Anthony had wanted to talk about “soul” for a while – it was easily his favorite 2020 movie, but he watched it right after we recorded our discussion of the best streaming content of 2020.
And if you are concerned that this is no more than 40 minutes of praise, then you are not entirely wrong. We both loved it, and appreciated both the vivid (and retrospectively melancholy) portrayal of life in New York City before pandemic lockdowns and social distancing, as well as the inventive portrayal of the worlds our souls go to before we are born and after we die are. (It was so ingenious that Jordan wondered if any unusual substances were involved in its creation.)
Nonetheless, we recognized some criticisms of “Soul”, particularly the disappointment of some viewers that, despite being the first Pixar film with a black protagonist, Joe actually spends a large part of the film as a disembodied blue ghost – entertaining by a story- Perspective, but not a clear victory for representation.
You can listen to our review in the player below, subscribe to Apple Podcasts, or find us on a podcast player of your choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)
If you want to move on, the episode does the following:
0:20 “Soul” rating
18:35 “Soul” spoiler discussion