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.
Hogwarts Houses For MCU Characters
Since its conception, Hogwarts houses have been a deciding factor in getting to know people. How someone answers “what Hogwarts house are you in?” can tell you a lot about a person. But where do some of our favourite MCU characters shape up when faced with the sorting hat?
Tony Stark/Iron Man- Ravenclaw
While Tony could be argued for almost any of the houses, Ravenclaw suits him best. Most of his development comes from the pursuit of knowledge. Aside from being one of the smartest characters in the MCU, he is constantly learning and improving upon his technology. He tends to approach large problems from a strategic and pragmatic standpoint, especially in his later films. Admittedly he can be brave and somewhat self-servingly ambitious. But who he is at the end of his arc and the way that he solves problems points to Iron Man being in Ravenclaw.
Steve Rogers/Captain America- Gryffindor
Is it even a question? Steve Rogers is definitely a Gryffindor. From day one, he has always strived to do what’s right. And he subtly wants a bit of glory for it too. He’s a natural leader and has always rushed into danger without a thought. He is undoubtedly driven by bravery and righteousness and is through and through a Gryffindor.
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow- Hufflepuff
Natasha is tricky. She could truthfully swing in any direction. It may seem strange to put a spy in Hufflepuff, but if nothing else, Natasha is loyal. She cares deeply for those close to her and has shown that she’s willing to die for them. Her characterization throughout the MCU has been lacking, but her solo film has shown her to be fiercely loyal.
Bruce Banner/The Hulk- Ravenclaw
Another Ravenclaw. Similar to Tony, Bruce is very intelligent. While he seems to be less inclined to want to fight battles than Tony is, he is constantly learning. His relationship with the Hulk can even be characterized this way. By a desire to learn how to control him, then to understand him, then to become him. His arc is one that is driven by knowledge.
Thor is always looking to prove himself. Even though he can lift the hammer, he is constantly looking for validation that he is worthy. He’s not usually afraid of much, and when he is, he faces it anyway. What makes Thor a Gryffindor though is his desire to be the hero. He’s not in Slytherin because he doesn’t desire to rule. He’s not ambitious, he just wants validation.
Peter Parker/Spiderman- Gryffindor
Peter is another hard one. He’s intelligent like Bruce and Tony, which could throw him into Ravenclaw. He’s loyal to his friends, which could put him into Hufflepuff. But at his core, Peter is in Gryffindor. The proof is in one of his first lines in the MCU. In Civil War, he tells Tony, “if you can do the things I do, and you don’t, then bad things happen because of you. (paraphrased)” He feels that because he’s special, he has to act. And unlike Steve and Thor, Peter is almost always afraid. He faces his challenges in spite of that. And while he wants to have a normal life, and a typical High School experience, he selflessly puts himself on the line. Once again, Peter is not looking for recognition, he’s just trying to do the right thing.
Dr Strange- Ravenclaw
Lots of Ravenclaws in the MCU. For Dr Strange, there really isn’t any other option. He is completely driven by the pursuit of knowledge. And while recognition came with that, we see with his journey into the mystic arts that his true motivation comes from learning. He’s a very similar character to Tony Stark, and both of them are textbook Ravenclaws.
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch- Hufflepuff
Like Natasha, Wanda is driven by her relationships. She is faithfully loyal to her brother, then Vision, then her family. She is definitely motivated to protect and care for those she loves. Including creating an entire alternate reality to be with them! Wanda is brave and intelligent, but at her core, she is loyal.
Finally, a Slytherin. Once again, was there any other option? Loki is characterized by his cunning and ambition. He wants to rule. And he doesn’t get there by rushing into battle. He gets there by being sneaky and clever. Loki is a Slytherin through and through.
Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel- Slytherin
This may not feel like the obvious choice for Carol, but she definitely portrays characteristics of a Slytherin. She’s the best, and she wants people to know it. She’s confident and clever, and she likes attention. We don’t know her very well yet, but from what we’ve seen, she seems to relish in the attention her efforts provide. She is good, helpful, and ambitious.
T’Challa/Black Panther- Hufflepuff
T’Challa is also driven by loyalty. But while he is protective of those he loves, his true loyalty is to Wakanda. He’s not king because of ambition, he’s king out of duty. Everything he does is through the lens of “what is best for Wakanda?” While it’s a bit unconventional, his loyalty to Wakanda characterizes him as a Hufflepuff.
Scott Lang/Ant-Man- Gryffindor
At first, it appears that Scott would be in Hufflepuff. After all, he is very motivated by his relationship with his daughter. But if he were truly 100% driven by that, he would have made different choices. He would not have betrayed Hope and Hank and teamed up with Captain America without their permission. He also would not have stolen from his company and landed in jail in the first place. But both of those above decisions do characterize him as a Gryffindor. He wants to be in the action, and he doesn’t always consider the consequences. Scott isn’t really looking for recognition and is not that ambitious, but he does want to be involved in the big events. He wants to help people, and he bravely faces battles. Sometimes without discretion.
Do you agree with our picks for these MCU characters in Hogwarts Houses? If not or if we’ve missed any out, leave us a comment below.
Check out our review of Black Widow HERE.
- Hogwarts Houses For MCU Characters July 23, 2021
- Harry Potter: The Questions You Keep Asking, Answered July 19, 2021
- Loki Episode 6 – Review July 15, 2021
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