Emma Goodman’s review published on Letterboxd:
Why can’t Disney just make a movie where the black character stays in their fucking body? Seriously they’ve created their own trope now. It was written (by a white man) to cater to white fragility. For the majority of the movie, the main character is either not in his black body, or his black body is voiced by a white woman. Soul essentially (a) normalizes digital blackface, (b) dilutes the presence of a black lead (c) lowers the bar for including actual black culture in movies, and (d) creates an illusion of progress and adequate black representation in film—but in reality is just a ploy to accommodate Disney’s discomfort with a nonwhite lead.
And of course in the world of Disney, the black lead can’t achieve a resolution on his own. No. He needs the help of his white friend. Yep, the white savior.
Other issue: The writers had the PERFECT opportunity for non binary representation. There is a character that literally has no sex and no gender. They could have easily cast a non-binary actor to (much more accurately) portray the character. But no. Tina Fey, guys, Tina Fey can do it. And she can voice the black lead, too. Nice.
This review really only reflects my beef with Disney as a corporation and studio. Other than these issues, I thought Soul was really beautifully animated and an enjoyable watch