Jack Aling’s review published on Letterboxd:
Your Life is About to Start.
Pixar has tackled our emotions, our childhoods, and even the monsters under our bed, so it makes sense that their next logical step would be to discuss the meaning of life.
Soul is the story of Joe, who after losing his passion gets the chance to evaluate his life when he is transported out of his body to the great beyond. But more importantly, Soul is a clear and obvious reminder of why Pixar has always been and still are the masters of storytelling. Taking such a deep and ethereal topic as mortality can be a sensitive subject, especially for a family film, but they handle it with such care and precision, taking out the potential fear and instead focusing on celebrating the beauty of living.
Cutting between the two realms of existence, the animation of both the hyper-realism of New York and the abstractness of the great beyond is stunning. The use of two different scores is what really helps set these two worlds apart - on Earth we are treated to the energising jazz of Jonathan Batiste but as the film crosses over realms, so does the music into the electronic pulses of Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross creating one of my favourite scores of the year.
I am struggling to find reasons why this wouldn't be classed as top-tier Pixar. It hits all of the emotional points you'd expect, has hilarious moments & cutaways, and leaves you with such a gratifying feeling.
I would argue that it is impossible to come out of Soul without having a new lease on life. It is the perfect film to release as the world tries to continue after such a debilitating pandemic - a reminder of the beauty of everyday living and the small things that makes life so special.
LFF: Film 18
London Film Festival 2020: Ranked.