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Soul [2020] (1 disc)

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Director:Kemp Powers
Pete Docter
Writer:Kemp Powers
Mike Jones
Pete Docter
Composer:Atticus Ross
Trent Reznor
Length:100 minutes
(1 hour 40 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Sorting Category:Family
IMDB Rating:8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:95%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Classifications:
  • Fantasy
  • CG
  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • Family
Available Formats:
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Synopsis: After landing the gig of a lifetime, a New York jazz pianist suddenly finds himself trapped in a strange land between Earth and the afterlife.


Reaction: At times a bit haunting, this one is a celebration of existence and all that makes life rich and full.


Personal Rating: 8/10

Kemp Powers => Director / Writer
Pete Docter => Director / Writer
Mike Jones => Writer
Atticus Ross => Composer
Trent Reznor => Composer
Alice Braga => Counselor Jerry (voice)
Angela Bassett => Dorothea (voice)
Cathy Cavadini => Dreamerwind (as Catherine Cavadini) (voice)
Daveed Diggs => Paul (voice)
Donnell Rawlings => Dez (voice)
Graham Norton => Moonwind (voice)
Islie Hirvonen => New Soul 1 (uncredited)
Jamie Foxx => Joe (voice)
John Ratzenberger => Guy on the Subway (voice) (uncredited)
June Squibb => Gerel (voice)
Phylicia Rashad => Libba (voice)
Questlove => Curley (as Ahmir-Khalib Thompson a.k.a. Questlove) (voice)
Rachel House => Terry (voice)
Richard Ayoade => Counselor Jerry (voice)
Ronnie Del Carmen => Windstar (voice)
Sakina Jaffrey => Doctor (voice)
Tina Fey => 22 (voice)
Wes Studi => Counselor Jerry (voice)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • (at around 1h 28 mins) Near the end of the movie, when 22 finally heads to Earth, she is facing Asia more specifically Western China, hinting that her human life will be spent as an Asian/Chinese person/animal. However, the directors hinted at the possibility of 22 being of Indian decent, as that was considered one of the original endings.
  • In another alternate ending, Joe was touring with Dorothea Williams and teaching students privately on the side. 22 was a new student, and Joe recognized her. According to Kemp Powers, this ending was rejected because "there was something innately not satisfying about it".
  • It's never really shown what happens to a soul when it goes to the light called 'The Great Beyond', so it's left unclear if there is an afterlife or the souls reincarnate like in some religions, or if the souls simply cease to be or become a part of the light itself.
  • The character's name "22" is a reference to the paradox Catch-22. In this case, the only way to find out that life is worth living, is by living life.
  • According to co-writer Kemp Powers, the last line of the movie was originally written as "I'm not sure, but I know that I'm going to enjoy every minute of it." but was changed to "I'm not sure, but I know I'm going to live every minute of it." because an animator pointed out to him that life also has painful moments that we still have to live through. Powers found the final line more profound.
  • Though 22 goes by she/her pronouns, she is not considered female and has no gender, as souls can choose what they sound like.
  • Jon Batiste composed jazz music for the film's New York City sequences, while Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross wrote an instrumental score for the scenes taking place in "The Great Before." Batiste said that he wanted to create jazz music that felt "authentic," but also "accessible to all ages." He also wanted the themes to tie into the "ethereal nature" of "The Great Before" while still being on Earth. Batiste also sometimes worked with Reznor and Ross to "blend the two worlds, musically."
  • Tina Fey also contributed to the screenplay, having helped write her character's lines.
  • (at around 52 mins) When Joe is getting his hair cut by Dez, Dez has a picture of his daughter with the Bunny Doll from Toy Story 4 (2019) that was voiced by Jordan Peele.
  • The first full-length Pixar film to not be released in movie theaters, but instead be released exclusively on the Disney+ streaming service. Unlike Mulan (2020), the film did not require "premiere access" for an additional price, but was free for all subscribers.
  • John Ratzenberger, who has voiced a character in every other Pixar movie, is not credited in this film. However, Pete Docter revealed that he does cameo in the film: his likeness is used for a character in the subway.
  • Pixar chose to portray the film's main character as a musician, because they wanted a "profession the audience could root for," and settled for a musician after trying for a scientist, which "[didn't feel] so naturally pure as a musician's life." Pete Docter described Soul as "an exploration of: Where should your focus be? What are the things that, at the end of the day, are really going to be the important things that you look back on and go, 'I spent a worthy amount of my limited time on Earth worrying or focused on that'?"
  • Animators used footage of several music performers, including jazz composer Jon Batiste, performing as reference for the film's musical sequences. By capturing MIDI data from the sessions, animators were able to retrace the exact key being played on the piano with each note and create the performances authentically.