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Soul: Pixar's most mature movie and one of the best of 2020

The recent release of the new animated film from Pixar shows why they always manage to reach the emotion of viewers.

Still from the movie 'Soul'

The Pixar film has been very well received by Disney + audiences. / Photo: YT-Pixar

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: Soul: la película más adulta de Pixar y una de las mejores del 2020

Pixar is the greatest exponent of animated films today. It was clear that, when Disney launched the new Disney Plus streaming platform, a large part of the productions would be available there. What was not expected is that, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the premieres in the cinema had to wait and the exclusive productions were only there.

This is what happened with Soul, the new film from this company, which appeared on this service around Christmas. What is really interesting is that it was not just another film, but one that, for specialized media such as Espinof, is the "best film of 2020", a truly atypical year in film productions. Let's see why it is so good.

Soul: Pixar's most mature movie

Pixar always manages to make their films have a sentimental “essence”. In other words, each production that they launch regularly manages to reach people's feelings, with very ingenious themes, more or less profound according to each film. However, in Soul we see, for the first time,  a topic little discussed among young viewers: death.

Although we had already seen it in Coco, another of the great works of this company, this time the topic is given a much more profound, serious and spiritual tone. If previously we said that each film had an "essence", this idea manages to be perfected because, precisely, in Soul we talk about all the souls that have to pass towards The Great After, that is, the afterlife.

The director of this film was Pete Docter, who had already been in charge of great works such as Up or Inside Out. The truth is that this film is very similar to the latter, because it deals with really emotional and funny aspects, but also serious ones. Through exquisite artwork, we can recognize the streets of New York to understand the life of Joe: a jazz music teacher who yearns to play in a band.

After having an audition and being accepted to play in a highly prestigious band, the protagonist has an accident. The moment is shocking, since we are not used at Pixar to such a realistic moment within animation. From there, we end up in a kind of dimension in which souls are preparing to die definitively, but also with others that are preparing to arrive on Earth and be born when they are ready.

From that moment, this new story manages to constantly inspire us to the idea of seeking our "purpose" , generating existentialist morals that make us wonder what we are doing with our lives. From a creative side, analogies are made to some of life's most important mysteries. For example, how babies acquire personalities or how people can frustrate their dreams and be lost souls.

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In other words, the world proposed in this film tries to give a spiritual and even comic explanation to some situations in our life that do not have answers, mainly from a sentimental point of view. Through the tragedy of death, Soul manages to unfold all its narrative potential to make us believe that even a Pixar movie can end badly, since it is something natural and that it will touch us all at some point.

For this reason, as HobbyConsolas mentions, it is not the typical cartoon film with which to keep children entertained, since there are certain metaphysical questions that can escape their understanding. However, that does not mean that they do not enjoy it, quite the contrary: it is full of humorous gags, although it is clear that it is aimed at a more adult audience.

So, this work manages to draw from previous films of the company, such as Inside Out, where the emotions of each person were characterized by different characters. Unlike that movie, which explored why emotions are felt on an internal scale, Soul looks more outward and seeks to discover how one fits into the world and what we are meant to live for.

 

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