Soul – Disney – Movie Review

Friday night is always movie night.
My kids and I huddle and get cosy in front of the Telly with a bowl of popcorn or pizza and settle in to watch an animated movie.
I am in charge of giving them the ‘What’s showing’ options from which they get to choose what they like.
Our little Friday night ritual is a very special one, and no matter how late it gets or how tired I am, my kids will make sure to make a noise about it, as though it is their birthright to get a movie in on the last school day of every week.

But as an adult, I understand this sentiment, it is akin to payday!

No kidding, the kids mean serious business, so my eyes are always on the lookout for new animated movies and when Disney announced ’Soul’ to be released as a Christmas gift, my excitement knew no bounds. Once the Christmas rush at home was over, the three of us sat down with our yummy snacks to binge.

The movie begins with the Disney theme music played off tune. As we wonder why that is, our hero appears.

Joe Gardener, the school music teacher, doing his best to conduct music with a band of kids who seems to either lack talent, interest, or both. Joe is crazy about jazz music and had been waiting for his whole life for his break into the jazz world. We get the feeling that he is good at it but also like he has gone places with it. But as the day progresses, Joe gets his golden ticket to play with an acclaimed jazz musician. Just as we all collectively thank his lucky stars, we watch haplessly as our hero misses a manhole, and big oops falls right in!

Joe’s time on earth is up and his soul is now fast approaching the big white light.

Not willing to accept this fact, Joe is then on a desperate attempt to return to earth in time for his big gig. The plot thickens as a sidekick named ’22’ joins him, a cute unborn new soul who has been actively working on the opposite of what Gardener, wants, not be born. Why? Simply because she does not know what she is going to do once she is there.

With the movie running on screen, I notice wheels churning in my head.

‘Soul’ unfolds into a story between these points; it reminds us of having a purpose and passion to pursue in life, to find happiness in the little things in our daily life, and pushes home the point that there is not just one single way of doing that. This is something I often forget as a single parent. No parent gets it all correct and sorted out, single or not. Don’t we all keep pushing and pulling ourselves with the parenting decisions we make? On most days, I can pat myself on my shoulder as a proud mom and on other days, I bang my head on the wall wondering where is the universal handbook/yardstick to getting Single parenting right.

I also remember how important it is to keep myself at the front of every little decision I make, for myself and my kids. I guess you could say that parents like us, Disney movies are the yardstick! I mean, only we would take a point from every movie in a way no one else in the audience would, right?

Anyway, thanks to the movies from the Marvel universe, my kids now sit through the end credits to ensure that they don’t miss out on any surprise funny bits. If the same phenomena occur at your place, let me give you the heads up. Pixar has not added anything here except for the last line on the credit that states that the movie was made by the team while working from their homes, maintaining the mandatory 6 feet social distancing that came to be the working fashion of 2020. And as the screen went blank at the end, I shared with the kids what I thought about the movie and asked for their first impressions. My 5 years old seems to confuse our hero with another ‘Joe’ who has been leading news headlines in world politics these days.

Oh Well, at least her general knowledge seems to be up to date.

My elder 8-year-old nugget only had one question, “ Amma, What was that big white light?”

Yup, the movie has punched holes in my explanation to them on life and death.

It’s time for an updated version and let me get to solve that now. In the meanwhile, can someone reach out to me with that universal manual on good parenting? Or is there another Disney movie on that?

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