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Soul 

click to enlarge FIND YOUR SPARK Middle school band teacher Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) dreams of playing jazz for a living, but right when he gets his big break, he dies, sending him on a desperate metaphysical adventure to return to Earth and fulfill his destiny, in Soul currently streaming on Disney Plus. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DISNEY PIXAR
  • Photo Courtesy Of Disney Pixar
  • FIND YOUR SPARK Middle school band teacher Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) dreams of playing jazz for a living, but right when he gets his big break, he dies, sending him on a desperate metaphysical adventure to return to Earth and fulfill his destiny, in Soul currently streaming on Disney Plus.

What's it rated? PG

When? 2020

Where's it showing? Disney Plus

Pete Docter and Kemp Powers co-direct this Pixar animated adventure comedy about Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a middle school band teacher who winds up dead from an accident on the very day he gets his big break to join a famous jazz ensemble. He manages to avoid going into the light to the "Great Beyond" and lands instead in the "Great Before," where soul counselors—all named "Jerry"—prep new souls for life on Earth.

Joe is tasked with mentoring 22 (Tina Fey), a soul who resists transferring to a body on Earth. Long story short, they manage to return to Earth with 22 inhabiting Joe's body while Joe ends up in a hospital therapy cat. Can 22 learn that life on Earth is worth living? Can Joe find a way back into his own body to fulfill his destiny as a great jazz pianist?

This charming story has wonderful messages about finding your spark, about what makes life worth living, and about helping others. The animation is wonderful, its depiction of Black culture respectful, and its celebration of jazz music inspiring. What a tribute to second chances! (100 min.) Δ

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