It's been a very very long time since a film has done this to me.
I can't hesitate in not only calling Soul the best Pixar film ever made, but the best Disney film ever made. In 1962 after viewing To Kill A Mockingbird Walt Disney said, "I wish I could make a picture like that." because by that point his company was built on a foundation of entertainment not entirely for children but certainly children centric. And I must admit I think this is the only Pixar film I have seen without really knowing what it was about, I never saw a trailer, I knew the briefest of basic plot synopsis, so I truly went into the film blind and upon hearing Soul was much more of a Pixar film aimed at adults my interest was peaked. He would be proud to have his name on this picture. Further proving why animation is a limitless, genre breaking, and outstanding medium for storytelling. Soul follows middle school music teacher Joe Gardner as he has the break of his life and is about to perform with a big star but his life is cruelly cut short and must traverse the worlds after death to return to his body. I have so much to say and yet am finding it hard to find the words. The animation is the best I have seen from this film studio, the lighting, color palette, and movement is beyond incredible and truly transcends animation at points and looks all too real. The story is thought provoking, funny, life affirming, and near the end an overwhelming emotional cascade. It takes a light and humorous view of some of life's biggest questions and defining moments. It brings to attention what makes life worth living and what drives an individual's passions, with surprising simplicity and heart. It is the only film in my memory to truly capture a moment of serenity of which I have experienced several times in my lifetime, and the appreciation it has for the beauty of life must not be taken lightly. When a film brings just a very brief but unrelentingly powerful visual of a person in their home, to the city they live in, to the world they inhabit, to the expanse of the universe, and brings uncontrollable amounts of tears down my face clearly it has done an incredible job immersing myself in this world, with such enjoyable characters, fascinating concepts, and fun environments. Inside Out was the rough sketch, Soul was the finished painting, and you can tell the writers and directors took notes on it to improve and innovate for this movie. My love and admiration for it will never end. 4 stars, 10/10.
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