The latest Pixar film Soul has caught quite the attention as it incorporates the hopeful mindset of ending 2020 and entering 2021. If we have learned anything this year, it’s to live every day to the fullest and to be present in every moment. The wholesome film captures the story of Joe Gardner, voiced by Jamie Foxx, a middle-school jazz teacher who aspires to pursue his true passion of becoming a professional jazz pianist. Just as he finally earns a shot at acquiring his dream job, his world ends – literally. Not only does the film attract vital themes about living for today, Soul makes its mark as the first Pixar film to include a large cast of African Americans as main characters – from depicting various brown skin colors, Afro hair, to including a black owned barber shop in the heart of Harlem. Go Pete Docter! 

Moral of Soul

After entering a different realm, the in-between of life and the afterlife, Joe Gardner fights to get back on Earth again with the help of 22, a soul with a dull and dim view of life on Earth. In the process of utilizing 22 to return to Earth, 22 begins to view life differently and quite enjoyably. Being in New York with Joe, 22 acknowledges the smaller things – a slice of pizza, the daily life in the subway, the autumn leaves blowing through the busy streets of New York City, and having conversations with random people like Joe’s barber. What this film teaches is to live life like 22 instead of Joe who’s abstracted of the smaller, finer things life presents and strictly worried about achieving his dream of becoming a jazz pianist. When he finally performs with a famous jazz singer, he realizes his life is the same as before and nothing has really changed. We often glorify one dream of ours and work our hardest to get there while ignoring the moments we are living now and the moments we encounter in the process of obtaining that dream. While accomplishing our goals/passions is essential, it is just as meaningful to live for all of our today’s. It is vital to live every day like it’s our last and to be present in every situation because tomorrow is never promised. 

The Fish Message

A significant message shared in the movie was the short story about the young fish and the older fish. The young fish complains and asks the older fish how it can get to the ocean. The older fish tells the young fish that they’re already in the ocean. The young fish, unsatisfied with the response, says “No! This is just water! What I want is the ocean”. Moral of this short fable; don’t be the young fish! We often push ourselves to achieve our one dream goal without realizing the greatness of where we’re at in the moment. It’s incredibly important to be present in each moment and appreciate the finer things in life. Sometimes we don’t realize it but while searching for bigger and greater things we can do with our lives, we fail to recognize the divine beauty of life itself. We tend to view life in three steps – go to school, get a degree, and live to work. While these are still relevant parts of life and grant financial stability, it is important to instead work to live rather than live to work. Unfortunately, we reside in a capitalist society so we’re pretty much screwed when it comes to putting fun before work. So, what do we do? We find fun in the daily, simple things in life! A cup of fresh iced coffee in the morning, the cold breeze rushing through the window while we work from home, and quality time with friends and family are the little things that make our lives pleasant.

New Outlook for 2021

As the year comes to an end, many are beginning to sort out what they are leaving in 2020 and what their resolutions for 2021 are. Soul is a greatly beneficial film for all ages to take into consideration as we move on with our lives. The year of 2020 has not been thrilling due to the pandemic but while things begin to slowly progress for the better, it is our own jobs to keep ourselves happy with everything we have now and what we can do for ourselves everyday. As Aman Raghav says, “give your life to yourself”. Similarly to what 22 portrayed for viewers, there is fun and adventure in everything so savor each and every moment while you can. Revel in that next slice of fresh, cheesy pizza, be attentive with your barber or the man singing on the street, and most of all, enjoy every second of your life – not all of us land a second chance!

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