Pixar has always had the ability to speak through its animated films of the deepest themes of the human being, be it the emptiness that a loss leaves, the bitter goodbye to childhood or why sadness is as necessary as joy. With ‘ Soul ‘, they continue to cement that path of vital lessons that have marked an entire generation, which they now face an impossible question: what is the meaning of life?
Directed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers , the film tells the story of Joe (voiced by Jamie Foxx ), a music teacher who dreams of becoming a full-time jazz pianist. Although his mother keeps telling him that he has to put his feet on the ground and find an alternative, the protagonist continues to fight until one day his big opportunity comes: the great saxophonist Dorothea Williams ( Angela Bassett ) invites him to join her band. However, with all the excitement of the moment, Joe gets confused, falls down an open sewer and his soul (represented as a sky-blue being) prepares to cross to the Hereafter.. But he resists and ends up in a limbo where human personalities are formed before landing in their respective bodies.
There they mistake him for a mentor and assign him to the rebel 22 ( Tina Fey ), a proto-personality who has long since given up in his attempt to find the last element that is missing to travel to Earth and inhabit a human body: reason to live. A spark that connects her with life and its thousands of possibilities. Can Joe help him find her and, incidentally, figure out how to get his life back again to get to the concert with Dorothea on time?
The story of ‘Soul’ will take the leading couple to Earth, although not as they had imagined: the soul of 22 has ended up in Joe’s body, while Joe’s soul is in the body of a cat. In that situation, which creates hilarious moments, they will have to find Moonwind ( Graham Norton ), the spiritist who helped them the first time, to fix the situation. Finally, they will end up being discovered by one of the authorities of the Beyond, who realized that something was happening when the numbers were misplaced at the beginning of the story.
Back in limbo, they see that 22 has finally made his way to Earth, but they don’t know exactly what purpose he has discovered . An angry Joe blames him that he has not found any reason to live, that he only appropriated his because he was inhabiting his body. Those reproaches leave 22 devastated, who hands his “ticket” to the planet and returns to his hiding place, convinced that he will never find what he is looking for. Joe doesn’t think twice and returns to his body , plays at Dorothea’s concert and begins to savor his dream. But the aftertaste it leaves is bitter. Something is wrong: his idea of life was totally wrong. As one of the Jerrys reveals, the “spark” is not a goal to achieve in life, but the love of life itself .
Aware of the mistake he has made, he mentally travels to what is known as The Zone (as Moonwind does) to find 22, who has become one of those monsters consumed by anxiety and depression. She has been carried away by sadness after centuries of tutors who have made her feel like a useless person without a future who does not deserve to exist , Joe being the last straw. But he is ready to make up for her mistake: he finally manages to convey the inspiration she needed, returns her badges and makes her understand that she is ready for human life. And it is time for me to do so.
And what about Joe? This final moment has made him face his own obsessions and the many mistakes he has made in his life. Now he is at peace knowing that he has done the right thing, that he lived as he knew and how he could, that he played with Dorothea and that he helped a soul to find its way. As he is walking into the Afterlife, one of the Jerries intercepts him to thank him for what he has done and convey how impressed they are by his role as a tutor. Therefore, they offer you a unique opportunity: to pick up your life where you left off . And accept with the promise to take advantage of every second of life. The third time lucky.