Pixar's Soul Earns Raves Ahead of Christmas Day Disney+ Debut: 'The Very Best the Studio Has to Offer'
Looks like Pixar's most ambitious movie yet hits the sweet spot.
The animated studio's Soul has been moved to a Disney+ release on Christmas Day and early reviews point to how well the film handles a tricky plot.
Soul follows the existential musings of a middle school music teacher, Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), who dreams of being a jazz performer. Before he can achieve his big break, an accident causes his soul to separate from his body where he’s taken to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth.
There, Joe meets a soul named 22 (Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe tries to show 22 what's great about living, and why must return to his body, he discovers answers to some of life's most important questions.
Soul has been getting rave reviews, with a current 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The Independent's Clarisse Loughrey sums up why in her review.
"Not only does Soul live up to Pixar's own impossibly high standards, but it represents the very best the studio has to offer: beauty, humour, heart, and a gut-punch of an existential crisis," she wrote.
TheWrap's Jason Solomons agrees, writing: "Soul is perhaps the most existentially ambitious film ever attempted by Disney and yet it pops with colorful visuals and gentle wisdom while the story clips along despite the dizzying height of the concept."
"Like some of the best jazz compositions, it uses a traditional framework to veer off in many unexpected directions, so that even the inevitable end point feels just right," wrote IndieWire's Kaleem Aftab.
"It's a vintage mix of the company's intricate storytelling, complex emotional intelligence, technical prowess and cerebral whimsy on dexamethasone," wrote The Hollywood Reporter's Leslie Felperin.
The film was originally set to hit theaters in June but was pushed back to Nov. 20 amid the coronavirus pandemic before being moved to Disney+ instead. Soul will be available to Disney+ subscribers at no additional cost, unlike Mulan which debuted on the platform for $29.99.
Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Angela Bassett and Daveed Diggs also star in the film.
Soul debuts on Disney+ on Christmas Day.