Soul (2020) – Comprehensive Review

Transfiguring Adoption’s Overview:

Soul is the newest offering from Pixar animation and tells the story of Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), a band teacher who dreams of being a professional musician. Through a series of mishaps he winds up in an alternate reality mentoring a young spirit, 22 (Tina Fey) on a search for their ‘spark’.

There is a LOT to unpack in the film and it took a week and a re-watch to fully process it. Pixar has always been really good at managing to make films for children that are thought-provoking but still fun for them to watch, and that have elements for adults to enjoy. With Soul, they make a slight break from that formula and this one really feels like one that is aimed directly at the adults, rather than a movie that’s equally enjoyable for the entire family.

Personally, I enjoyed the film on an intellectual level, and think it is definitely a vehicle to get some conversations started about some pretty in-depth topics. That said, it is definitely not a film made for children, despite the marketing campaigns targeting them. Very young children might enjoy the color and sounds of the movie without being able to understand the plot, but I think it’s one that elementary-aged kiddos will struggle with. It’s definitely aimed towards teens and adults. I would also urge caution before allowing kids who have experienced trauma to watch it, there were a few pretty big triggers. Definitely one to watch ahead of time before the kids do, and to be prepared to discuss some heavy topics after viewing, as littles will likely…

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** Spoilers Could Be Ahead **


About the Author: Jenn Ehlers.

Jenn is a central Virginia native who received her BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2012. Since then she has worked for a local mental health agency and the Department of Social Services in various capacities and has been involved in her community’s efforts to create a Trauma Informed Network. Currently Jenn works in vocational rehab and mentors youth in foster care. When she isn’t working, Jenn enjoys writing stories, anything and everything Harry Potter, and spending time with her niece and nephew.


**Transfiguring Adoption is a nonprofit organization seeking to nurture growth in foster and adoptive families by giving a HOOT about their families. Transfiguring Adoption does not intend for its reviewers nor its review to be professional, medical or legal advice. These reviews and discussion guides are intended to help parents to better be able to connect and understand their children who come from traumatic backgrounds.


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Jenn is a central Virginia native who received her BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2012. Since then she has worked for a local mental health agency and the Department of Social Services in various capacities and has been involved in her community’s efforts to create a Trauma Informed Network. Currently Jenn works in vocational rehab and mentors youth in foster care. When she isn’t working, Jenn enjoys writing stories, anything and everything Harry Potter, and spending time with her niece and nephew.

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