Movie Review // Soul
After hearing mixed reviews across from friends and social media about this movie, I didn’t know what to think. I had trusted moms saying stay away from the movie and others, including popular Christian mothers, saying that they loved the movie. Nothing else to do but watch it myself. So when I couldn’t sleep, I decided to get up, make some coffee, and settle in.
*Remember* This is just my observation and opinion. Before watching I prayed, asked for discernment and not a critical mind and heart. My goal is to steward the lives God has entrusted me with and I want to do that well.
What is it that makes you…YOU? This December, Pixar Animation Studios’ all-new feature film “Soul” introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) – a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions. Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Inside Out,” “Up”), co-directed by Kemp Powers (“One Night in Miami”) and produced by Academy Award nominee Dana Murray, p.g.a. (Pixar short “Lou”), Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” is streaming exclusively December 25, 2020 on Disney+. Rated PG.Description on Soul on Disney.com
The movie starts off great; mentions the struggles of teachers wanting their students to be passionate and the message of the importance of teachers. However, the movie takes a quick turn into a lot of New Age language. What is the New Age? According to GotQuestions.org, “The New Age movement is a counterfeit philosophy that appeals to the feelings of individuals, leading them to think that that they are God and can enhance their lives through their own person.” You can read the full article, What is the New Age Movement.
A Quick Run Down of Concerning Language…
- Life Starts Now // The whole movie talks about living life and not just letting life pass you by. But the notion that life starts anytime after conception or even birth, is false. We are all currently living. We can enjoy our lives each and every day without waiting for a perfect moment or goal.
- Great Beyond & The Great Before (You Seminar)// It’s portrayed as a conveyor belt entering a bright light. The main character, Joe, does ask if he’s in heaven or hell, but other than that nothing is mentioned other than the great beyond is what happens when you die. The Great Before is where the little souls are programmed. They have to find their spark before they get their ticket to earth. Some have been there for thousands of years and have had mentors like Lincoln, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Muhammad Ali, Marie Antoinette, and a few more. This just further misrepresents what happens before we’re born and after we die.
- The Coming Together (Jerry) – Defined in the movie as “all quantized fields of the universe appearing in a form your feeble human brain can comprehend” // There are multiples of these characters but they all have the same name. They seem to be “in charge” of making sure souls get to earth or beyond. They also pick if souls are miserable or happy with what type of personality types souls get. Seems to be that you have one behavior type and you have no choice in your thoughts and behavior.
- Spark // Each character is looking for their spark. The thing that makes them special.
- Mundane life isn’t special // Joe (the main character) realizes that his life as a teacher, son, and not-famous but extremely talented musician is boring and purposeless.
- Crushing souls is what earth is for // “No it’s not” was my audible response to so many comments in this movie. Earth isn’t soul-crushing. Sure, it’s refining and sanctifying and not perfect, nor easy. But it’s not soul-crushing. Earth is for glorifying God.
- The Zone “Place between physical and spiritual” // Described as when athletes are in “the zone”. But others that are capable of going to the zone can mess with someone and interrupt their talent.
- Chakra & Meditative state // According to Wikipedia chakras are “The Chakras are part of esoteric medieval-era beliefs about physiology and psychic centers that emerged across Indian traditions. The belief held that human life simultaneously exists in two parallel dimensions, one “physical body” and other “psychological, emotional, mind, non-physical” it is called the “subtle body”. The mediative state is mentioned with chakras and getting into a place where he imagined his body so that his soul and body could come back together.
- Hellish Planet // More degrading of the earth as it’s not part of a creation that God said was good. Demeans what hell is and that spending eternity in hell will be nothing like earth but torture and wrath.
- Orcus & Gemini // No clue what Orcus was so I had to google it. It was a surprising find that he’s a greek and roman mythological god of the underworld. Gemini being astrology related.
- Reasons for living // The movie portrays the reason for living is all about self-fulfillment. Should we live if we can’t be happy or maybe we just give up?
- Purpose // The worldly lie that our purpose is to succeed and/or be happy is another lie funneled over and over in this movie. Searching for purpose and being lost without purpose is a life that we must ignore. We have a purpose. Our purpose is to glorify God. Surely we will have different ways of accomplishing our purpose. But we have a purpose. God created a body of people. Just like hands and feet have different functions, they work together with the same purpose.
- Life starts when you succeed // Finally, Joe can start living, now that he succeeds. Or he can start living when he realized that his boring mundane life really wasn’t that horrible and now he can actually enjoy it.
Obviously, this is my opinion! You’re entitled to your own opinion. Is the movie horrible? I guess it depends on your definition of horrible. We won’t be watching with our kids and if for some reason they do end up watching it, we will be having a lot of conversations about truth and discernment. As a Christian mother, I could not recommend this movie for small children. If using it as a lesson is your goal, I’d make sure your child is old enough and mature enough to comprehend.
There are people applauding this movie and they seem to be enjoying the message of living your life before you die and don’t miss out on life. (Sort of ironic as the world tells us to currently stay home and not live life).
It is so important to teach our children to discern truth in this world. More and more it seems like parents are willing to trust the world to teach our kids and trust that they won’t sneak their unbiblical worldviews into messages. The amount of New Age thought and language in this movie is extreme.
Recommend: No way.
Movie Review // Disney’s Soul