This post contains spoilers.
Pixar's released its new project, Soul, on Christmas Day. And, as is customary with end-of-year movie releases, there were two audience camps: the Pixar fans and the DC fans (Wonder Woman 1984). And while Twitter is alive with various opinions about Patty Jenkins's latest for DC, it's also full of a lot of thoughts on Soul.
The animated movie gets into the deep meaning of one's purpose in life, and in 2020, a lot of us might be feeling just a little bit...listless as we keep things low-key in quarantine. With that in mind, this film struck a particular chord with an audience that has spent the year doom-scrolling the news, social-distancing, masking up, and canceling plans.
Some people said this film taught them a much-needed lesson about what they need to prioritize in life.
— E Graham (@e_darcell) December 26, 2020
My whole family LOVED #SoulPixar!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
From the acting & music to the breath-taking animation, it is a gift for your heart....and yes, your soul. 🙌🏼👏🏼❤️
Also, @disneyplus, Thanks for the virtual premiere goodies! 😘 pic.twitter.com/DxSzjaTJW8
— Ming-Na Wen (@MingNa) December 27, 2020
The so called "spark" is not your passion about something, but rather the ability to live in the present moment, we were all born with it, but most of us lost it somehow later on in life. The creator of this movie must have gotten some inspiration from Buddhism. #SoulPixar pic.twitter.com/u0hpFNEAxb
— 数字游民Jarod (@jarodise) December 27, 2020
CONGRATULATIONS to Pete Docter, Pixar & the SOUL team. Funny, creative, touching, endlessly inventive, it’s a healing balm for our better angels in a punishing time. Tho I’m sad people won’t experience its wonders with strangers on a big screen, I’m so glad it’s out in the world. pic.twitter.com/K5qaGLLtlK
— Brad Bird (@BradBirdA113) December 26, 2020
Pixar really said “for our next movie, we’re gonna literally restore everyone’s will to live”. #Soul
— Sebastian Dario Aranguibel (@SebasDarioAran) December 27, 2020
— Hannah Saxton (@HannahSaxton1) December 27, 2020
Overall, it seemed that fans of Pixar found this Christmas release to be an entertaining watch. Kristen Acuna pointed out in Insider, however, that the way the movie navigated race with its lead Black character raised some red flags.
"In its final moments, Soul is set to sacrifice its Black lead so a white woman can go and live out her life on Earth. Joe decides he's fine with dying because he was able to live out a dream. As the movie's about to wrap up however, Joe's given a second chance to live life because of his good deed. Good for ol' Joe, right? Eh. First, Joe is killed the moment he gets his big break within the first 10 minutes of the film. What kind of message does that send to young children watching this film who see themselves in Joe?
Second, Soul steps into a dangerous trope that has become frequent in animation with leads of color. After Joe 'dies,' we see him turn into a green blob, which is a pattern we've seen in animation of turning Black characters into creatures. Sadly, co-director Pete Docter admitted to journalists during a virtual press conference Insider attended that he wasn't even aware of the trope until working on this film."
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