Feels weird to jump right into a Pixar movie without watching a short film beforehand. But after ‘Lava’, I would be okay with skipping the short film every time. I personally find Pete Docter’s directorial efforts divisive – up until this point, I have either loved or hated his films. ‘Monsters, Inc.’ is one of my favourite Pixar films (and one of my favourite animated films in general) but I hated both ‘Up’ and ‘Inside Out’ (the back-to-back viewing of ‘Lava’ and ‘Inside Out’ in theaters was one of the most painful movie-going experiences of my life). For me, Docter finds a bit of middle ground here.
The animation is attractive and stylish, the characters are likeable and fun, the story is set-up well and progresses nicely. It has everything you would want from a concise 100-minute film. And while I do appreciate the low run-time, I wouldn’t’ve minded an additional 10-20 minutes to fill things out even more. However, while ‘Soul’ is a very good film, there were moments early on that reminded me of ‘Inside Out’ and I was praying that this film wouldn’t go down the same route. Fortunately, Docter mostly avoids repeating the hang-ups and bad things from ‘Inside Out’ (a lot of similar ideas are present but they are presented much more elegantly and intelligently).
Overall, worth a watch. The best Pixar film since ‘Coco’ and a major step-up from Docter’s previous effort ‘Inside Out’ which I consider Pixar’s worst.
7/10 – Good