Review- Columnist praises Disney Pixar’s jazz-filled ‘Soul’


Haley Medeiros

Editor-in-Chief Haley Medeiros captures Disney Pixar’s “Soul” while reviewing sheet music. “Soul” forces the watcher to evaluate what their purpose is in life. “The scores by themselves were beautiful, and the show of a love for music and the arts was amazing to watch on screen,” columnist Gianna Ortner-Findlay said. “Colorful visuals kept me engaged the whole movie, and following the storyline was like following a rainbow.”

Gianna Ortner-Findlay, Assistant Editor

Disclaimer: Spoilers for Pixar’s “Soul” are in the following article.


Disney recently released their new movie “Soul” on the streaming service Disney+. The story follows a middle school band teacher named Joe Gardner as he tries to lift his unsuccessful jazz career off the ground.

Gardner tries to make his dream a reality so he can follow in his father’s footsteps, despite his mother’s disapproval of not having a stable job. After a series of failures, Gardner gets a chance at success, only to have it ripped away from him after a literal fall into a place between life and death, leaving his body in a coma.

His soul ends up in a place called The After, a dark void with an escalator pushing those who have recently died, or on the verge of death, into the light. After seeing this, Gardner insists that he is not done living and falls again, but this time into a place called The Before.

This new land is filled with color and overseeing entities named Jerry that take multiple forms, each with their own job. In The Before, little greenish-blue blobs, young souls, are guided by mentors towards their purpose. They try to achieve an “Earth Pass,” which allows the soul to start living and the mentors to find peace in The After.

This is when he meets a young soul called 22, who is just as terrified of life as Gardner is of death. 22 is infamous for shaking off mentors to avoid living, completely content with never experiencing life. With Gardner being so adamant about going back, 22 agrees to give their patch to him, but to do this, 22 first needs to find their spark or purpose.

In their attempt to use gurus that can connect to the spirit realm through being “in the zone” to connect Gardner’s soul with his body, 22 and Joe Gardner are thrust back to Earth with the wrong soul finding a place in the middle school band teacher’s body.

“Soul” follows the adventure of these two beings as they figure out the true meaning of life and what it really means to find your spark.


Pixar is infamous for creative movies with a thought-provoking message underneath.

“Soul” is no different.

I loved this movie. The scores by themselves were beautiful, and the show of a love for music and the arts was amazing to watch on screen. Colorful visuals kept me engaged the whole movie, and following the storyline was like following a rainbow. However, my favorite thing about the movie is its message, which is interpreted differently depending on the mindset of who is watching it.

If you are more inclined to be a negative thinker, at the end of the movie, you find the message to seemingly be that “life is full of difficult decisions, but it is the little things that make it worth living.”

However, if you are more inclined to positive thoughts, you would argue that the message was “everyone has a purpose, even if you don’t know what it is.”

Photo Credit Disney+ “Soul” Header

In the end, the way one interprets the movie makes the ending different every time depending on the mindset you are in at the time of viewing, making the animated film a perfect representation of real life.

With this movie, Pixar furthers their reputation for hiding hard-hitting topics behind a children’s storyline, beautiful animation, and a little music to move the plot.

When looking for a movie that will make you cry with some laughs sprinkled in, Disney Pixar’s “Soul” will give you all that, with a side of existential dread.