Soul Movie Review

Raven Ryan’s take on the long awaited Disney film

Raven Ryan

The long-anticipated Disney film Soul has had many people talking in recent weeks. Unlike the disappointing release of the live-action Mulan, which cost $30 on Disney+ despite the streaming service requiring a monthly subscription, Soul was readily available for Disney+ subscribers on Christmas Day. Almost immediately after the release, reviews came flooding in through all types of social media platforms. 

I believe Soul was a very beautiful film. The color scheme of the “Great Before”, where new souls are being created and ready to go to Earth, and the dynamic between the overly-passionate band teacher Joe (voiced by Jamie Foxx) and the unmotivated, troublesome soul 22 (voiced by Tina Fey) were phenomenal. Let us not forget either the people behind the soundtrack, which is what made me most excited to watch this film: Trent Reznor (most popularly known for the rock band Nine Inch Nails), Atticus Ross (Also a member of Nine Inch Nails), and Jon Batiste. The soundtrack was beautiful, from the jazzy score on Earth to the ethereal, soft twinkling sounds when visiting the “Great Beyond” and the “Great Before”. While this film may not be Disney’s most memorable, there is no doubt that they did a great job.

One thing I was disappointed about though was the lack of heart-wrenching content. The film was meant to pull the heartstrings of viewers about passions and loving what you do, as well as knowing your own soul. Even though the message came across, I felt like the movie lacked emotional value. I felt distanced from the insecurity and apathy of 22 or the joy towards the end of the movie. I believe there was room for improvement in the emotional aspect. 

Throughout the majority of the movie, though we see a Black man on-screen, he is voiced by a white woman, which left some viewers disappointed.”

Even if Soul was a great movie, there are critics out there who believe the movie should have been handled way differently. Throughout the majority of the movie, though we see a Black man on-screen, he is voiced by a white woman, which left some viewers disappointed. It seemed to some people that it was a careless mistake to make a black centered movie with Tina Fey behind the voice of Joe, a Black man. Personally, I do understand the upset behind this move, as I don’t think it took away from the movie itself. Yes, it seemed weird that they could’ve just as easily found a black woman to voice in place of Tina Fey, but perhaps it can be something to be more aware of in the future. 

This movie was definitely not a disappointment in the realm of beauty, as the soundtrack and vibe of the film were calming and immersive. If I could change anything about the film, I would have definitely put more effort into making the film more emotional and switching Tina Fey with a Black voice actor. I give this movie a solid 4.5/5 stars, and I think if you’re curious to watch this film, watch the movie, as it has a good message behind it.