Have you ever wondered what makes a person who they are? How our feelings control us? Or what happens once our time on earth comes to an end? Well, it seems as though Disney heard our unanswered questions. And turned them into an uplifting, imaginative animation with the imminent release of Pixar’s Soul.
Pixar has already delved into how our emotions guide us in Inside Out (2015). They have toyed with the idea of the afterlife through Coco (2017). And now they are shining a light on our identity, life, and mortality with Soul. Areas that even have theorists baffled.
Earlier this year the multi-billion-dollar animation studio announced their next upcoming venture. Soul (2020) is set to be yet another hit. On the surface, the film is whimsically upbeat. But let’s delve into the animation’s deeper meaning, and why it will be so hard-hitting.
Jamie Foxx voices Joe Gardener, a middle school music teacher with a passion for jazz. On the day that Joe lands his dream gig, he falls victim to a fatal accident. But instead of departing to the “Great Beyond” his soul ends up in the “Great Before.” A place that allows Soul to develop their personalities. As Joe tries to navigate his way home he is subject to an “out of body” experience. One which he must muddle through to be reunited with his body.
Pixar’s Soul enhances the concept of identity through its majestic animation and mesmerising music. The setting is embedded in African-American ethos. Joe lives in the outskirts of New York City and is very much part of the black community. Jazz is also a huge part of the film, which originates from African-American culture.
The cast is predominantly of BME descent. Even the end credits show the names of fact-checkers who ensured the film’s authenticity.
Yet, it would be a little broad to say that Pixar’s Soul simply explores the concept of cultural identity. In truth, the film delves into much more than the idea of individualism. It contemplates the purpose of existence itself. Quite a feat for a Disney. But Disney Studios are renowned for their “meaningful” animations.
Life, death and mortality
The film appears to take Coco’s concept of death and mortality to the next level. Where Coco’s premise surrounded the afterlife, Soul transports us to the in-between. A place where souls reside to gain personalities and interests.
After Joe’s fatal fall he transforms from man to a charming blue blob form, replicating his soul. He finds himself travelling on a giant escalator towards a bright light in the middle of a black void. But before the light swallows him he scrambles away, ending up in a place called the Great Before.
Joe’s forming friendship between another soul, named 22, is familiar. Pixar is renowned for creating opposing friendships and it simply works. Though, it’s within this friendship where the ideas of existence truly come to light. 22 has no wish to ascend to the living world. Whereas Joe would give anything to go back.
Pixar has achieved the hard task of blurring the lines between these firm concepts. Disney has created a great existential animation. By the simple use of colour, gentle insight and humour.
Reviews have been outstanding considering the movie has not been released. One reviewer wrote: ‘its target is the key to life, the universe, and all that jazz. You can’t aim much higher than that.’ (Rotten Tomatoes)
Since Disney announced the first trailer for Pixar’s Soul animation, the film has caused quite a stir. Rotten Tomatoes have presented a rating of a whopping 100%, unusual for a film yet to air.
Though, on the opposite end of the reviewing world, a controversy has emerged. Disney has recently announced that the new release date will be on Christmas Day. But it will only be available via their platform Disney Plus.
This has caused an uproar amongst the theatre industry in the wake of COVID-19. Cinema numbers have plummeted despite new safety measures put in place. With Soul being yet another movie to bypass the big screen, the outlook for the near future may be bleak.
Thanks for reading our article on why Why Disney Pixar’s Soul will be a hard-hitting animation. Are you planning to see it? Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Read our Pixar shorts article HERE.
Read IMDB information on Soul HERE.
Soul is currently scheduled to be released in cinemas on 25 December 2020.
9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies
There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.
1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)
Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.
2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.
3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.
4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.
5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.
6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)
I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)
This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)
We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.
9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.
That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.
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