I already shared a spoiler-free review of Disney Pixar’s Soul and a kid’s review. But I wanted to spill the beans a little bit in this one, especially for those who want to watch and discuss the film over and over, or others who may be holding off on watching it for one reason or another. Soul is the movie we all need this year to remind us of why we’re here.
Initially supposed to be released in theaters in June, now we all get to stream Soul on Disney Plus from the comfort of our homes, surrounded by loved ones, on repeat.
In a virtual press conference for Disney Pixar’s Soul, producer Dana Murray said it felt like this was somehow meant to be. “It just feels like now people are gonna be able to see it on their couches with their families. And hopefully, reflect on the year a little bit and be able to appreciate the smaller things.”
Something We Haven’t Seen Before
When it comes to Pixar, we haven’t had a chance to see many movies from a regular human’s perspective. From cars and toys and monsters, to robots, dinosaurs and elves. If Pixar is going to tackle a movie from a regular Joe’s perspective, you know it’s gonna go DEEP. And that’s what they did here. Not to mention the beauty in Black-American culture that we seldom see in animated movies.–Yet, can be appreciated by anyone.
I’ve watched it four or five times now and I know it’s a movie I’ll be watching again and again. But I have to say I know for sure that has a lot to do with who I am, and how movies and works that dive into what makes you you, and cherishing the unique life you have. It touched on my spark if you will.
I can see how that may not be the case for most people. Personally, I wasn’t crazy about In and Out, but I know a lot of people love that movie. I think it’ll really just depend on your type of movie and if you can roll with the metaphysical.
That said, if you’re like me and you enjoyed the movie, or if you’re debating giving it a try, or if you’re still asking yourself “wait, so WHAT is a spark?!” This post is for you. Here are six important lessons I think everyone can learn from Disney Pixar’s Soul.
1. It’s so easy to become a lost soul
The scenes where we saw the people who had become lost souls from either being trapped in their monotonous jobs, or becoming overly obsessed with something really struck a chord. Moonwind admits he was once a lost soul “Tetris” being the culprit. “Some people can’t let go of their anxieties and obsessions leaving them lost and disconnected from life.” Getting into “the zone” is a beautiful thing, but “the lost souls” really aren’t that different when they become overly obsessed. The lesson here? Keeping tabs on where we are investing our time and making sure we don’t let it disconnect us from every other part of our lives.
2. We are all individuals before we even start living
This is something I’ve strongly believed before Soul but I love how this movie touched on everyone getting different personalities at the YOU Seminar. Each of my kids, from the same two parents have entirely different personalities. I can’t help but feel like their different levels of determination, sensitivity, and gumption were in the works long before they were here. We are each so one of a kind.
3. Plans change, but things can still work out
At the barbershop Joe assumes Dez always wanted to be a barber, because that’s his gift. We learn that Dez actually wanted to be a vet. But after his son got sick, barber school was less expensive than veterinarian school and his plans changed. Things don’t always go as planned, he adapted and went on to have a great life he appreciates and develops a new talent.
Kemp Powers Co-Director of Story and Screenplay said this was one of his favorite part of the film. “We always see films about pursuing your dream,” he said. But he said he loves the fact that this film shoes all lives have merit, and he hopes it’s conveyed. “It’s this idea that you don’t have to have it all figure out.”
4. Enjoy the little things
The most obvious lesson in this movie to me is to slow down and enjoy the little things you walk right by every day. Joe points out the grumpy mood on the subway while 22 is swinging around and slurping on leftover drinks. She enjoys every bite of New York pizza and bagels. From noticing the beauty in a falling maple seed, to the pleasures of the ability of walking. Or hearing beautiful music. The movie reminds us of all the little things we can be grateful for.
In a SOUL press interview Jamie Foxx says there’s a phrase he likes to use as he thinks about cherishing this life. “The world has been here for however many billions of years. So, 70, 80, 100 years is what? It’s a blink of an eye,” Foxx said “So, I say to everybody, don’t waste your blink. Live your life.”
5. Enjoy the big things
One of my favorite moments in the movie is when Joe has the performance of his life on stage then asks “what now?” Dorothea Williams tells him the story about a fish swimming up to a bigger fish and asks where the ocean is. The big fish explains they are in the ocean. But the little fish says “no, this is just water, I want the ocean!” Sometimes we don’t realize the greatness that surrounds us because we’re so caught up in trying to reach a destination. We don’t appreciate the joy in the journey and the greatness of where we already are.
6. Your spark isn’t your purpose
This personally touched me because I’ve been guilty of wondering what unique talent about me is my reason for being here. But how much pressure is that? We each have our own unique talents and skills that we get to discover in this life. But that isn’t our reason for LIVING. Your purpose is to live.However that might look for you. Maybe it uses your spark, and your gifts. Maybe that’s a part of it. But your life has meaning no matter how rich or famous or successful you are. What is your purpose? That’s for us to answer. But I think it’s to live– live YOUR best life.
Director Pete Doctor said this was one of the main aims of the movie. “To say that, you know, just by being alive, we are valued. We are already enough. We all deserve to-to enjoy what life has to offer. All you have to do is open your eyes and look around”
I’m a tough critic and this is one of my favorite Pixar movies to date. My kids enjoyed it for different reasons than I did. And a lot of those reasons go over their head right now because they’re so joyfully young. They haven’t been hit with life. But I think as they get older and have lived a little bit more of life themselves they’ll appreciate the movie in other ways.
If you ask me it’s a great movie to turn on Christmas day and reflect back on the year. And thank goodness it’s on Disney+ because it’s a lot to take in in a single movie. So we can watch it over and over again. Once you’ve watched Soul I’d love to hear your thoughts! What lessons did you learn?