This is what 2020 has come to- Grown-adults watching Pixar trailers at 7:00 Am and holding back tears. The second trailer for the upcoming Disney-Pixar film Soul just dropped and if this is anything to go by, the entire movie might make you feel slightly better about this year, no matter what happens.
As many have pointed out, Soul seems like the spiritual sequel to Inside Out insofar as it’s about things inside of us, rather than our frustrating meat bags that have to walk around, worry about getting out-of-shape or getting super-sick. “You can’t crush a soul here,” Tina Fey’s soul guide (named “22”) says after to Jamie Foxx’s Joe Gardner. This is after wakes up in a place called “the great before,” a land where souls run free before they get, well, bodies. Little cute kid souls say the word “Hell” over and over again, and souls slap each other around. It’s macabre and sweet at the same time, and I’m impressed Pixar is doubling-down on the cutesy-yet-depressing-as-fuck formula yet again.
For parents, this familiar Pixar cocktail — 2 parts depressing, 1 part zany, a dash of bittersweet — is actually perfect for the moods everyone is in right now. This movie is about a guy trying to follow his dreams of playing jazz, but, it seems, he dies before his time. What does his soul look like? What the hell has he done with his life? As parents struggle through the day-to-day struggles of the pandemic and a grim political outlook, these bigger pictures — what our life looks like decades beyond the moment we’re stuck in — feel urgent and relevant.
Bottom line: Soul looks great, and possibly the best Pixar movie in years. It’s no secret that these Pixar movies are often aimed at adults, but as I sobbed into my morning coffee just now, this one really feels that way.
Pixar’s Soul will debut straight to Disney+ on December 25, 2020.