Written by Elliot Lines
In typical Pixar fashion, Soul is as ambitious as it gets. This follows the story of Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a jazz music teacher who after a break in his career, loses his life but this enables him to discover his "Soul". Not one to keep the kids distracted, but this visually lavish film stays grounded, keeping in tune with the story it is trying to tell.
From the director of Up and Inside Out, this certainly bears resemblance to the later, digging into the spiritual side of life itself. This is a discovery of ones self, but this could be Pixar's best animation yet. Rife with photorealism, there are times where you question whether this world is the real deal, it's hard to pick them apart due to the incredible animation work at play here. They've gone to another level here, the connection between worlds is seamless and a visual spectacle. There is a clear transition between the normal world and the "great before", a world where souls are assigned unique personalities and traits before heading down to the real world, these intricate ideas are what breathe life into these films.
There is something left to be desired with the overall story though. Soul knows what it is trying to tell, and does it successfully, but there seems to be something missing compared to previous Pixar films. This feels like it was geared towards the adult audience, which isn't uncommon but other than a talking cat and a few bright colours, many of the themes here wouldn't have a child's attention for long.
Where there aren't a huge amount of characters, they certainly are fleshed out. Especially Joe Gardener, with Jamie Foxx breathing plenty of life into this performance. Joe has a swing to his step, and the accompaniment of this amazing score provides that. Filled with plenty of Jazz beats, which brings everything together in a delightful way.
Where there was something left to be desired in the story, there is no escape from the visual spectacle Pixar have created here. With probably some of their best animation to date, Soul still has that enchanting nature we have come to expect.