Soul reignited my love for the little things

The poster for Disney and Pixars new movie Soul, which features Jamie Foxx as Joe Gardner and Tina Fey as Soul 22.


The poster for Disney and Pixar’s new movie Soul, which features Jamie Foxx as Joe Gardner and Tina Fey as Soul 22.

Over the past few months, I have discovered I am living my life going from one thing to the next.

Whether it be from zoom meeting to zoom meeting or practice to homework, my daily agenda is a solid list with barely any wiggle room. Recently, I learned that I can take a break in my schedule, and it is all thanks to Disney and Pixar’s new movie, Soul

Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) has been dreaming of an opportunity to play in a real jazz band. Unfortunately, it is just a dream. In reality, he is a part-time middle school band teacher who auditions for many bands but ultimately is turned away from each one. Joe’s passion is jazz—he’s good at it, too. The rejection Joe faces somehow doesn’t discourage him, and he keeps hope. So much hope that he is reluctant to accept the offer of a full-time position at the middle school where he teaches. 

That decision somehow pays off, though. Joe gets the opportunity of a lifetime when an old student of his, Curley (Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson), calls him up. He is a drummer in the Dorothea Williams Quartet, which happens to have an opening for a talented pianist like Joe. Curley owes his love of music to Joe and insists he audition, to which Joe is ecstatic, knowing his life is about to change.

Yet one small misstep leads to a greater change than Joe could have ever expected.

I am looking at the world and my surroundings, but not truly seeing the beauty.”

Joe is taken from the familiar streets of New York City to an alternate dimension called The Great Before—a wondrous world where new souls get their personalities, interests, and quirks before heading to earth. Joe is determined to get back to his life and teams up with Soul 22 (Tina Fey) who has never seen the appeal of life on Earth. 22 has even been paired with the best of mentors to try and convince her that Earth is wonderful, but she has driven them all mad.

Desperately trying to show 22 the joys of living, Joe finds answers to some of life’s greatest questions and sees small things he has never thought to fully enjoy before.

I am continually amazed by the strong messages Disney and Pixar weave into their movies and shorts. Soul is no exception to this. Joe is living his life much how I described I have been living mine. I am looking at the world and my surroundings, but not truly seeing the beauty. Joe had 22 to show him the joys the world offers when he had never seen it before. I may not have an unborn soul to breathe a new perspective into me, but I feel that Soul has already done that for me.

Soul was released on December 25, 2020, the center of the season of giving back—rather fitting for a movie that involves assisting one another. While Joe and other mentors help souls find their “spark,” Soul helped me find a new way to experience the world around me.

I internalized this message and it made me wonder: what is my spark? Is it my sole purpose in life?