“Life is full of possibilities. You just need to know where to look.”
In Disney-Pixar’s latest blockbuster, audiences are reminded that a person’s life is not measured by their accomplishments, but by the small moments that make us who we are or bring us joy. Whether it’s the first time we try a slice of New York pizza or the moment we fall in love with music, the times that bring us pure happiness — those are what bring value to our lives.
And if you’re a New York City barber who always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian but never got the chance, you can still live a joyful and fulfilling life, even if it wasn’t what you thought you were “meant to do.”
Spoiler Warning: While we highly recommend watching Soul and we’d love for you to read our review, we want to warn you that some minor spoilers and our reaction to the film are included within this article. Continue reading at your own discretion, and be sure to watch Soul on Disney+ on December 25!
What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose? What makes my life have value?
These are questions that many of us ask ourselves on a regular basis. From a very young age, we are asked, What do we want to be when you grow up? And as we get older, we often question, Am I where I am supposed to be and accomplishing everything I wanted to?
In Disney-Pixar’s Soul, protagonist Joe Gardner is asking himself these very same questions. Music has been Joe’s passion for most of his life, and right now, he’s a middle school band teacher who is still waiting for his big break. He realizes his dream of being a professional jazz musician finally might come true when he books a performing gig with the Dorothea Williams quartet.
Almost as quickly as he gets the great news, he finds himself heading to the “Great Beyond.” Soon after, we meet the witty and cynical 22, a character who provides not only comic relief but also much-needed relatability. But check this out: Joe wants to get back to his life on Earth now that he finally feels his life has meaning, but 22 wants nothing to do with living and would rather head to the Great Beyond or stay in the Great Before than head to Earth.
So essentially, “a soul who doesn’t want to live meets a soul who doesn’t want to die,” as director Pete Docter puts it. But Soul digs deeper. It explores what it means to truly live a life of purpose and value — something that so many of us struggle with on a daily basis. Through the story of Soul and the journey that Joe and 22 take together, the people they meet, and the discoveries they make about themselves, we are taught something very important:
“The people who achieve their dreams aren’t the only ones whose lives have value.” – Co-director Kemp Powers
This film will have you reflecting on your own life in more ways than one. Perhaps you are not where you thought you were “supposed” to be by this age. Maybe you have reached all of your goals and you are left wondering, What’s next for me? Possibly, you are at a crossroads between what your family or peers think you should be doing, and what you, in your heart of hearts, truly want for yourself.
No matter your situation, your background, your career path, your family — no matter where you come from or where you’re going, or the opportunities that have come your way — your life has value. Your life matters. And that is the message that Soul shares with the world.
But if you’re not convinced you should see this film yet, maybe this will persuade you. Already, Soul has a 100% Certified Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes — and the internet is full of rave reviews from critics and those who have already seen the film. It appears as though everyone, fellow Disney fans to national entertainment to longtime movie critics, loves Soul.
This movie is coming to Disney+ — Disney’s one-year-old streaming platform — for the holiday season on Christmas Day, December 25, 2020. Disney has shared that they are excited to bring this film to the streaming service as a gift to Disney+ subscribers for the holidays after a long year that nobody had ever expected. And, knowing the themes of the movie, this is possibly the best holiday gift that Disney fans could receive this year.
Not a Disney+ subscriber yet? Even if the release of Soul is what is persuading you to subscribe, that would still be an amazing deal for the Disney streaming service. Click here to visit the official Disney+ website and become a subscriber to get access to Soul on Christmas Day and the library of thousands of Disney titles instantly.