The most important film of 2020 is an animated film called, Soul. The story resonates so much right now with many people having to contend with mental illness, sorrow, and mortality.
The film is produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Kemp Powers, the film stars the voices of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alice Braga, Richard Ayoade, Phylicia Rashad, Donnell Rawlings, Questlove, and Angela Bassett. The story follows a middle school music teacher named Joe Gardner, who seeks to reunite his soul and his body after they are accidentally separated, just before his big break as a jazz musician.
When Joe dies and enters the afterlife he feels as if his life had no meaning. Never making it big, constant rejections, and settling for a teaching job.
Refusing to die before his big break, Joe tries to escape but ends up in the “Great Before”, where soul counselors—all named Jerry—prepare unborn souls for life on Earth. Joe poses as an instructor who is set to train the souls and is assigned 22, a cynical soul who has remained in the Great Before for far too long and sees no point in living on Earth. 22 reveals that she has a badge that fills up with traits. She needs to find her “spark” to complete it and says she will give it to Joe so that he can return home.
When 22 inhabits Joe’s body and Joe inhabits the body of a therapy cat the two begin to learn a lot about life and how the little things are the most important.
Inspired by the objects 22 collected while in his body, Joe plays the piano to enter the zone and look for 22, who is became a lost soul. He tries to return her badge, but 22 remains hopeless and broken about her purpose. Using a small maple seed that 22 had collected, Joe convinces her that she is ready to live, and she returns to normal. With her badge back, 22 finally enters Earth with Joe accompanying her for as long as he can. As he prepares to head into the Great Beyond, Joe is stopped by a Jerry who tells him that he has inspired them and will give him another chance at life. Joe thanks them and returns to his body back on Earth, now with the intent to live his life to the fullest.
So as I said, waaaaaay over the heads of kids but the message is so powerful and poignant for a year that has taken its toll on so many people. Pixar/Disney just knows how to pull on audiences heartstrings while making see the world in a new way.
The way the film presents jazz music and embraces the diversity is beautiful. The animation is so lifelike and colorful. Pixar/Disney continues to raise the bar with each new animated feature.
HipsterZOMBIEJoint Experience highly recommends you DEVOUR Soul which is streaming exclusively on Disney Plus.