Soul, preview review of Disney Plus' Christmas masterpiece

Soul, preview review of Disney Plus' Christmas masterpiece
That Disney wanted to make our Christmas magical, despite the annus horribilis that is closing behind us and especially for cinema and animation, is always a very welcome surprise. For December 25, 2020, the celebrations do not include yet another reinterpretation of Santa Claus, a special Mickey and Donald Duck or other "classicons" from Disney, but a film outside the box for this period, but which follows some stereotypes of the characters present in it, as we go to see. We are talking about the new Pixar Animation Studios feature film, Soul, arriving on Christmas Day on the Disney Plus streaming platform to try to brighten a day of celebration that, as we all know, may not be like that of other years. A magical story contained in 100 minutes, narrated on the sound waves of the music that we have previewed for you, with dubbing in Italian, and of which we will tell you everything in our review.

Relive the magic of DISNEY + and this title by browsing the catalog of the platform comfortably with the whole family thanks to the annual subscription (with 2 months free) or monthly.

Soul, a musical genre that goes straight ... to the soul

The film opens in medias res, in the middle of a music lesson with a fairly listless class of middle school kids accompanied by Joe Gardner, a teacher who manages to seize the unique opportunity to play in the best jazz club in town. But a small misstep will take him from the streets of New York City to the Anti-World, reachable via a staircase made of stars that can only recall a Stairway to Heaven, to paraphrase the famous Led Zeppelin title. A literally out of this world place where new souls develop personalities, interests and obsessions before going to Earth.

Determined to return to his life, Joe becomes an ally of 22, a precocious soul who has never understood the fascination of the human experience and who has been in this sort of Limbo for a long time, if you think he has also had Abraham Lincoln as a mentor. Yes, because every little soul must be led by a Mentor, and this plague is entrusted to Joe, who tries in every way to get his dying body back in a hospital bed. To do this, he passes the time and tries to avoid ending up on the way to the Anti-World again by showing 22 what makes life so special, but the journey will be as exciting for him as it is for the viewer.

Your life is so sad and pathetic, but you're jumping through hoops to get it back! Because? I want to see how it ends!

In this paranormal and unique dimension, which reminds us of the journey into the emotions of Inside Out, but recovers the graphic classicisms of the most exciting shorts such as Wind, the protagonists discover unique places, emotions and sensations, approaching the understanding of most important aspects about existence. How do you feel when you are doing something that we are passionate about, that alienates us from what surrounds us? And what happens when we realize we are alive, when the soul "comes back to us" and we realize that we are experiencing the "tear in the sky of paper" of Pirandello memory and of "awakening" from the torpor of everyday life?

The journey between life and death and all its shades of colors

Soul is a complex journey, which involves a lot of reflection at every or almost every line of the characters. It gives us back a curious, but at times severe, transposition of the human condition, perhaps sweetening what happens to our body and soul when we are in the balance between this world and the afterlife. But all the color of this film that brings it closer to the recent Netflix hit Over The Moon at times, due to its kaleidoscopic being, fails to throw off the main way of the plot: to tell how consistent and considerable our soul is. Paradoxically, giving a color, a thickness, a life to that part of us that weighs those legendary 21 grams capable of making a difference and making us unique.

Needless to say: we are facing one of those products that only Pixar mom can do, warming our hearts inexorably and putting so much meat on the fire to make us reflect on many small, great nuances of our earthly life and beyond. The latest in a series of children of the caliber of the aforementioned Inside Out, Up, the Toy Story saga and others, Pixar proudly holds up the banner of a tradition that is not denied even this time, luckily for us. And these titles are certainly not random references: the film is directed by Oscar winner Pete Docter, former father of Inside Out and Up, and produced by Academy Award nominee Dana Murray, who participated in the making of the Pixar short Lou.

Kemp Powers is the co-director of the film, while the story and screenplay are written by Docter, Mike Jonese Powers, while Dan Scanlon and Kiri Hart are executive producers. As you may have understood, music also plays a decisive role in the film, but also and above all in Joe's life, so much so that it represents the only, true motivation to return to earth: the jazz compositions and arrangements are signed by the world-famous musician and GRAMMY nominee Jon Batiste, while Nine Inch Nails' Oscar winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (former The Social Network soundtrack signature) have composed a truly original score.

Music, and the rest (does not) disappear

“Music, and the rest disappears”? Surely we have to forget that roundup of songs that made films like Frozen famous, but this doesn't mean that the music doesn't remain etched in our memory. The piano laps and the skilful compositions of our professor are as exciting as they are characteristic, but reiterating some stereotypes: the protagonist is black, so perhaps not too casually associated with jazz. He, like the other members of the group who plays in the room where he was about to be hired, in addition to teaching.

Small note of the audio sector, or rather, of dubbing: in the Italian version of the film, the cast of voices include actors Paola Cortellesi (22) and Neri Marcorè (Joe Gardner); actor and composer Jonis Bascir (Joe's barber, Dez); volleyball player Paola Egonu (Sognaluna), but also model and influencer Paola Turani (Maria Antonietta) and two other influencers, Marta Losito (Rachel) and Giulia Penna (Juliet).

A touching ending, another lesson once warm and reassuring, how touching, that only Disney Pixar can give. We would dare to say a double gift, considering the period of release of the feature film. Soul knows how to touch the most delicate and profound strings of our soul, in full respect of the title itself. A vision recommended almost more to an adult audience for the complex and "philosophical" issues dealt with, than by the little ones, who can still enjoy characters with a soft and welcoming shape and a fairy, dystopian and imaginative world that only Pixar can offer , Once again. Merry Christmas from Disney home with a hope and a reflection for the coming year.

Give and treat yourself to a further pinch of magic with the book The Art Of Soul, with all the images and graphic works taken from the film.

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