Pixar are back to salvage some sort of hope and joy in what has been one of the worst years ever. A new Pixar film is always something to look forward to with the range of themes and imagination shown throughout their filmography, and with their latest, Soul, director Pete Docter returns but is he able to capture the magic of his previous Pixar films; Monsters, Inc., Up and Inside Out?

Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) is a middle school music teacher who has always dreamed of making it as a jazz musician. An accident while on his way to the Half Note Club for his shot at making it causes Joe's soul to leave his body and make its way to the Great Beyond. Managing to escape to the Great Before, Joe finds himself having to mentor a soul in training before he can return to his own body, the only problem being that he has to train 22 (Tina Fey), a soul with a dim view on the concept of life.

The first thing that sprung to my mind when watching Soul was just how stunning the animation is. Pixar really have been making major leaps with the animation in each of their films, making me think back to the days when people were in awe of the detail on Sulley's hair in Monsters, Inc. however, Soul proves they have taken it to the next level with an insane amount of detail in just about every single frame of the film. New York City is brought to life with such realism it felt like I was back walking the streets of such a great city with Joe and then there's the smaller scale details such as his regular barber shop or his mum's tailors. It really adds to the whole experience in such a positive and awe-inspiring manner.

Music has a huge part to play in Soul and it's not just in the moments we see Joe trying out for a jazz quartet, which are amazing by the way. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross team up once again to deliver such a beautiful score for this film that I would honestly say is their best work since The Social Network

Pixar always have a knack for touching every emotional chord in the body and the case is no different with Soul, albeit managing the feat in a different manner compared to films such as Up or, more recently, Onward. Docter, along with co-writers Mike Jones and Kemp Powers, has crafted such a beautiful and imaginative piece of work that I thought would be very similar to Inside Out but ends up being totally different, going in a direction I definitely didn't see coming. The film carries with it such a poignant and touching message that will reduce even the toughest of souls to a tear or two.

The vocal cast really does bring such a range of emotions to Soul, Jamie Foxx's performance as Joe Gardner being one that will rank amongst my favourite Pixar performances, the softness of his voice mirroring the softness of his soul so brilliantly. Then there is Tina Fey as 22, who we all know as a very funny actress, having to dampen spirits at first before having her eyes opened to a wondrous reality. There's plenty of humour amongst the screenplay for the cast to mess around with but it's when the film reaches its more emotional moments where they really get to impress.

I absolutely loved Soul and I implore everyone to watch it when it drops on Disney+ this Christmas Day, because we could all do with something joyous this festive season. Call me a Pixar fanboy if you must but Soul will go down for me as their twelfth masterpiece.

Verdict: ★★★★★


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