Pixar’s Soul Has Twitter Crying and Getting Philosophical in 2020

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This post contains spoilers.

Pixar’s released its new project, Soul, on Christmas Day. And, as is customary with end-of-year movie releases, there were two audience camps: the Pixar fans and the DC fans (Wonder Woman 1984). And while Twitter is alive with various opinions about Patty Jenkins’s latest for DC, it’s also full of a lot of thoughts on Soul.

The animated movie gets into the deep meaning of one’s purpose in life, and in 2020, a lot of us might be feeling just a little bit…listless as we keep things low-key in quarantine. With that in mind, this film struck a particular chord with an audience that has spent the year doom-scrolling the news, social-distancing, masking up, and canceling plans.

Some people said this film taught them a much-needed lesson about what they need to prioritize in life.

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This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Overall, it seemed that fans of Pixar found this Christmas release to be an entertaining watch. Kristen Acuna pointed out in Insider, however, that the way the movie navigated race with its lead Black character raised some red flags.

In its final moments, Soul is set to sacrifice its Black lead so a white woman can go and live out her life on Earth. Joe decides he’s fine with dying because he was able to live out a dream. As the movie’s about to wrap up however, Joe’s given a second chance to live life because of his good deed. Good for ol’ Joe, right? Eh. First, Joe is killed the moment he gets his big break within the first 10 minutes of the film. What kind of message does that send to young children watching this film who see themselves in Joe?
Second, Soul steps into a dangerous trope that has become frequent in animation with leads of color. After Joe ‘dies,’ we see him turn into a green blob, which is a pattern we’ve seen in animation of turning Black characters into creatures. Sadly, co-director Pete Docter admitted to journalists during a virtual press conference Insider attended that he wasn’t even aware of the trope until working on this film.

Hilary Weaver
Hilary Weaver is a freelance writer based in New York who writes about politics, queer issues, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, and every woman the Queen has ever made a dame.

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