Soul might be one of the most highly-anticipated movies to still come out this year, especially now that the Disney/Pixar venture will be debuting exclusively on Disney+ this holiday season. The film is expected to bring the kind of emotional, family-friendly ride that audiences have begun to expect -- and it sounds like that journey is already resonating with critics. At the time of this writing, Soul currently has a 100% positive rating on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, something that is a relatively rare feat for a lot of movies.
While the film only has thirteen reviews at the moment, the positivity surrounding the film is certainly impressive -- and is sure to grow as the film's release date draws closer.
Soul follows Joe Gardner (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 (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.
Soul will represent a significant first for Pixar, being the first film under the company's banner to feature a Black lead character.
"Joe's character, it's interesting because, again, it was all very organic, and it was really... I feel like a broken record because I've been saying this a lot in that people can be afraid of cultural specificity. And I think that that's actually the key to uncovering these universal themes that we can all relate to," Soul co-director and writer Kemp Powers recently told ComicBook.com. "I think that one of the things we've been able to do on this film that I'm the most proud of is actually not shy away from the fact that Joe and his culture, while American, are also Black. You saw in the footage that you saw, there's a flashback where Joe says, 'Dad, I don't like jazz.' And his father corrects him and says, 'Black improvisational music. It's one of our big contributors to the culture of this country.'"
"That, to me, is a very potent, important thing to actually acknowledge, the specificity of the Black contribution to American culture in a very, very subtle small way that might go right over a little kid's head," Powers continued. "But for some little kids, it's going to be really, really important. It's going to say that you are a part of this country. You are a part of this thing that we have today. So I think the fact that when they decided it was going to be a jazz musician, that it became important that it be a Black jazz musician, is key because that allows us to lean into the Black, the very African-American contributions to not just jazz music, but music in general."
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Soul will debut on Disney+ on Christmas Day, December 25th.