“Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn’t quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz — and he’s good. But when he travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have soul.”
This Christmas 2020, Disney dropped another Pixar movie straight onto Disney Plus. So far I’ve watched it twice, and I’ve really enjoyed it both times! This movie’s animation and concept kind of reminds me of Inside Out because it characterizes abstract concepts such as a person’s soul. (Well of course, the movies came from the same studio!) Nevertheless, this movie was beautifully made, and it explores the notion of suddenly dying at a time when you least wanted it to happen.
This film’s universal message and story is very touching, and it got me to appreciate more about the beauty of life, which can be found in even the little everyday things that we don’t always stop to look at. This story has such believable and relatable characters, and I just totally loved the touch of comedy that makes this movie enjoyable! I’ve had plenty of good laughs while watching it, and it also has its moments where I’m crying because of the messages being conveyed. Soo, I’m pretty confident that I’ll still laugh and cry from it again the next time I watch it!
The main protagonist of the story, Joe, is a truly relatable character who dreams of finally making it big in his life. I could only wish I could play the piano like he does, but I truly admired the way he comes face-to-face with his own flaws in this movie. I’m sure that I’d be just as afraid of death as he does, and I’d also probably get upset if I suddenly died right before I could enjoy the day that I’ve always been waiting for my whole life.
His whole perspective of life changes after he gets to know an “unborn soul” called 22, who initially thought there was nothing remarkable about life on Earth. When Joe first stumbles across her in a place called the Great Before, where new souls are being prepared to be born into the world, 22 is surprised by how badly Joe wants to return to his earthly body. Not only did 22 think that Earth was uninteresting, but she also saw how miserable Joe thought his life was.
What I honestly admired was how these two characters ended up making such a huge impact on each other in the story. As Joe was trying to get back to Earth, things went wrong as 22 accidentally falls into Joe’s body, and Joe’s soul makes it into a random cat instead, lol. But as they try to find a way to fix it, 22 finds herself experiencing–through Joe’s body–how life was truly like on Earth, and how it wasn’t at all like she thought it would be.
Anyways, both of the characters make such an eye-opening impact on each other, and I just really appreciated how their characters develop as they get to know each other! I also think that these characters were so wonderfully crafted because I felt like I could see a little bit of myself in both of them.
Overall, I certainly liked this movie, and there isn’t really anything I didn’t like about it. Maybe the jazz music could sound a bit better by having smoother sounds, particularly on the piano and saxophone parts, but it still sounds pretty good! I also thought that the world of the Great Before was a bit strange in the way that “new souls” are assigned different personalities through some kind of mystical factory. BUT, all those different little things are easily outweighed by the overall message of the story that was so beautifully portrayed in this film. The animation, the music, and the cinematography was surely and totally effective in taking me on a ride of emotions.
Anyways, I think this is absolutely a great animated movie that people of all ages can enjoy. So if you haven’t watch this yet, I definitely recommend giving this movie a watch 🙂