“What is it that makes you…YOU?” Disney Pixar’s SOUL challenges us to think deep. Where will you find your “spark?” How are you going to live your life? What is your purpose? You’ll be asking yourself these questions and more while watching Pixar’s latest film sensation. While Soul is filled with life-lessons and an important message, is it too heavy for sensitive kids? Sure it’s animated, but does that alone make this movie kid-friendly? I’m breaking down all of the thematic elements, including its PG rating, in my Pixar SOUL Parents Guide and Movie Review to help YOU decide if it’s safe for kids. As always, no spoilers!
Pixar Soul Parents Guide + Movie Review
Disney’s SOUL originally had a release date of June 19, 2020. Due to the circumstances the world is in, it was decided to release the feature film Christmas day on Disney+. What a nice holiday treat! While nothing can beat seeing a Pixar film on the big screen, having the ability to cozy up in the comfort of our homes was a very welcome surprise.
With that being said, Pixar’s SOUL is not like any other Pixar film we have ever seen. I’d say it is most comparable to Inside Out, which makes sense because it was also directed by Peter Docter.
While Pixar is well-known for its movies having a strong message, this isn’t your typical Toy Story, UP, or Incredibles message. This message is deep. It’s heavy. It’s thought provoking, and its timing couldn’t be more relevant.
Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) is a middle-school band teacher, who has a passion for jazz music. His dream has always been to play professionally. However, he has never had the opportunity…until now. Joe finally gets the opportunity of a lifetime to play with Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett) and her band. Just when it seems Joe is getting everything he ever wished for, he falls down a manhole.
When Joe opens his eyes, it appears he’s in another realm of sorts. His body has transformed into literally just a soul. Once Joe realizes he has entered The Great Beyond, he freaks out! He’s not ready to die, it cannot be his time! Somehow he escapes and enters The Great Before, a place where new souls develop their personalities before they go to Earth. Here Joe is paired as a mentor to soul #22 (Tina Fey), to help her find her “spark.” 22 has no desire to go to Earth so they make a deal for Joe to take her place.
Of course nothing can ever be that easy. There are many twists and turns in the story that will keep you thinking about your own life and how you want to live it.
From the bustling streets of New York City, to the creative realms in The Great Beyond and The Great Before, Pixar doesn’t disappoint. SOUL is a visual masterpiece. It’s a feast for your eyes and will draw you into its beauty. Pixar has the ability to make you forget you’re watching an animated film.
Is Disney Pixar’s SOUL Kid-Friendly?
Here we go. Just how safe is Pixar’s SOUL for kids? Is a film that is essentially about life and death appropriate for kids? Is it too heavy? Too deep? Will they understand its message? Is SOUL too much for 2020? Or, is SOUL exactly what 2020 needs?
Disney’s SOUL is rated PG for thematic elements and some language. It has a runtime of 1 hour 40 minutes. Let’s take a closer look.
Is SOUL Scary or Violent?
There aren’t really any violent scenes in SOUL. However, there is a part about “Lost Souls” that has the potential to be a little scary. There is also scenes in a hospital, and you see Joe fall down a manhole and die. While it’s certainly not graphic, depending on the child, these do have the potential to be triggering.
Is there Bad Language or Profanity in SOUL?
There is one scene in The Great Before where the younger souls repetitively repeat “Hell” over and over again. It’s meant as a place and supposed to be funny, but it really isn’t needed. Other words used are stupid, idiot, and imbecile.
What are the Adult Themes in SOUL?
This is a movie about death. Not only that, but Joe is trying to escape death because he feels that his life was meaningless. He doesn’t feel accomplished. He’s not ready to go. When he meets 22, they both do a lot of soul searching. There are some very heavy topics. There isn’t necessarily anything inappropriate about these themes, but they can definitely spark questions from your little ones.
Age Recommendation for Pixar SOUL?
An animated PG movie with a 1 hour 40 minute runtime seems like the perfect fit for kids. However, parents need to keep in mind this isn’t your typical Pixar film. My two children, ages 7 and 11 watched SOUL. My 11 year old enjoyed it, but didn’t think it contained enough humor. He was able to connect with its message, but I don’t think he’d ask to watch it again. My 7 year old didn’t want anything to do with watching SOUL. I had to literally beg him to give it a chance (not joking). He did end up enjoying the parts in The Great Before, and if you were to ask him, he’d tell you he liked the movie. However, he was also extremely tired and extra cuddly when we watched it. I don’t see him asking to watch it again. I would recommend SOUL for the tween and teen crowd. Ages 10 and up would be best, but I don’t see them asking to watch this one on repeat. I definitely enjoyed it more than my kids.
Disney Pixar’s SOUL will open your eyes and make you look at the little things in life. I’ve said it a million times before, but those little moments are really what life is all about. You will walk away from this movie with an overwhelming sense of wanting to LIVE. To truly live your life to the fullest. To breathe deeply and take in each and every moment. So, “what is it that makes you…YOU?” I’m not sure I have the answer, but something tells me it’s a million little things.
Pixar Soul Synopsis
What is it that makes you…YOU? Pixar Animation Studios’ all-new feature film “Soul” introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) – a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth.
Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions.
I hope you found this Pixar Soul Parents Guide and Movie Review helpful for your family. SOUL is now available for streaming on Disney Plus!
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