'Soul' by Disney & Pixar - Musician Review

Disney's 'Soul' is an interesting depiction of how the life of a music educator in New York City takes an unexpected turn. Here is my honest musician review of 'Soul'.

If you haven't seen Soul by Disney and Pixar, then DON'T WATCH THIS VIDEO UNTIL YOU DO! There will be spoilers ahead.

After a handful of recommendations given by my students to watch 'Soul', I decided to take an evening to watch the movie. Man, Disney and Pixar movies make me cry all the time!

'Soul' is about the life of a music educator in New York City who gets the gig of his life, but then his it then takes a but takes an unexpected turn when he falls into a sewer and is taken to the Great Beyond.

As a music educator, I really resonated with this film because it discusses the most common problem that every music educator faces, "Will I have time to perform in addition to teaching?"

It's a tough question. Many violin professors that I know manage to balance both their performance career, and their teaching career. There are only a handful of artists out there that can do both VERY well. I know in my experience, it's a difficult task because not only are you planning your days for what you will teach, but you have to put in the extra practice hours to make sure you're still playing at a high level.

Or, one could argue that one practices while they teach. Mr. Itzhak Perlman says so himself! To become a better player, one must teach. I feel that this is the case.

Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) is taken to the Great Beyond because of his unexpected death by falling in a sewer in New York City. Once Joe realizes he's going to the Great Beyond, he manages to get himself out of the line and go to the Great Before; a place where new souls are born and trained before they go to Earth.

Joe Gardner then goes to the You Seminar where he replaces another soul as a mentor for 22, the 22nd soul ever created who has never been approved by the administrators of the Great Before to go to Earth. Joe's ticket to get back to Earth is by helping 22 get her Earth badge. Knowing that Joe's gig is later that evening, he tries to figure out a way to get back to Earth without getting the Earth badge for 22. With the help of 22, they go back to Earth, but end up switching bodies. Joe's soul is in a cat's body, and 22 is in Joe's body.

Once Joe figures out how to get back into his body, he makes it to the gig and plays with the band. After playing the gig, he realizes that he didn't feel as fulfilled as he had hoped.

Joe then goes back to the Great Before to help 22 receive her Earth badge, and then goes to the Great Beyond. The administrators of the Great Before give Joe the unique opportunity to go back to Earth to give him a second chance.

As a music educator and violinist, it's easy to be caught up in the daily life as a performing artist. 'Soul' teaches us that there is more to life than music. There is! Once you take music out of the equation, what then? Life is a journey, enjoying the simple things helps us appreciate what is around us instead of just one thing.


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