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Disney and Pixar’s Soul: Helping You Find your Purpose

Article by Maureen Kasuku
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Posted: January 07, 2021  

2020 made MOST of us question a lot of things about life and existence. Disney & Pixar dropped a timely film towards the end of that dumpster fire year that you should all watch! Soul.

The breakdown: A middle aged jazz pianist and music teacher Joe (Jamie Foxx)  has a near-death experience and gets stuck in what is referred to in the movie as the “Great Before”. This is a section of the afterlife where unborn souls prepare to be sent to earth. Joe is in a crisis trying to contemplate his life choices and regretting that he didn’t make the most out of his life.

Mistaken for a mentor, he’s paired up with a cheeky little soul named 22 (Tina Fey) who hasn’t been able to activate her “earth pass” because nothing has ignited the “spark” inside her.  

The two make a deal to what they hope will be their mutual advantage that sends them on a journey of discovery of their purpose and the elusive “spark”.

Soul is the first Pixar movie to feature a mostly black ensemble. Yay for diversity! But many critics were upset (rightfully so) that Joe spends a good stretch of the runtime as a talking cat. This is something Disney and Hollywood is notorious for doing to black characters. Denying them agency. Black characters just can’t be whole. They have to be  anthropomorphized animals or sidekicks to white characters even in films that are supposed to center them!

That aside, Soul is  beautifully animated and the music is great! Even if you’re not a fan of Jazz you’ll be enamored. It’s a thought-provoking movie that will punch you in the gut and make you question your life choices.

This dialogue between Joe and the Jazz musician Dorothea really did something to me:

Dorothea : What’s wrong, Teach?

Joe : It’s just I’ve been waiting on this day for… my entire life. I thought I’d feel different.

Dorothea :  I heard this story about a fish. He swims up to this older fish and says, “I’m trying to find this thing they call the ocean.” “The ocean?” says the older fish. “That’s what you’re in right now.” “This?” says the young fish. “This is water. What I want is the ocean.”

[Joe just stares, bewildered] 

Dorothea : See you tomorrow.

I hope you find your purpose 🙂

*Get your tickets from KenyaBuzz.

About the author

Maureen Kasuku

Maureen is our resident cat lady and Beyoncé stan. She writes about spas, brunch and ballet recitals but has never been to any. Moonlights as a social justice activist in her spare time. She knows things and is obnoxiously opinionated on the internet but not in real life

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