An animated musing on life choices, having dreams and learning from disappointments, Pixar’s Soul is beautiful to look at and listen to, but – like their 2015 hit Inside Out – will likely touch adults and older kids while leaving younger ones completely puzzled.
New York school band teacher Joe (Foxx) has always dreamed of being a jazz musician, but life hasn’t gone quite as he had planned. Finally getting the big break he was hoping for, Joe rushes along the street and doesn’t see the open manhole he falls into. He wakes in another realm – is he dead, in a coma, or dreaming? – where souls are magically transported to another place, or sent back to start again on Earth. Desperate to return home, Joe finds himself in the company of another outsider, a little blob named 22 (Fey), who doesn’t want to be reborn at all.
Part buddy movie, part surreal adventure as 22 and Joe discover the world beyond the Great Before, and part musing on middle age, this does have some laughs during the middle section (involving a cat, but that’s all we’ll reveal) that will appeal to younger audiences, but the rest of this lovely grown up movie will leave them perplexed.
This is one for older (15+) kids and adults, who will understand the jokes about 22’s former mentors (including Lincoln and Gandhi), enjoy Graham Norton’s lovably dopey guide, and will be dazzled by the stunning animated New York and the simply gorgeous shades of blue that illustrate the trippy afterlife (or is that beforelife?). Inventive, unusual and a moving ode to jazz and life, Soul is a movie with heart that you’ll think about long after the end credits roll.
Is Soul suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
There are some darker moments that may upset younger viewers (under 10s). Children may be distressed when Joe ‘dies’, though it is played for comic effect.
Later in the movie, he ventures into another part of the realm where there are dark, soulless figures. They are not truly menacing, but may scare sensitive viewers.
Children may also be upset during a scene when 22 remembers how other people have spoken about her.
If you like this, why not try: