2020 is finally over but before we send it off to the trash heap it deserves to be in, it’s time for the third annual Golden Cages, Flixist’s extremely coveted prize! Each year the Flixist staff gets together to vote on the best and worst films of the year and gives you lovely readers our true and honest thoughts. Plus since there are no other awards shows this winter (suck it Academy!) we’re now the de facto voice of truth in the film industry. So read on dear viewer and see which films win our lovely little award!
2020 was going to be a stellar year for Pixar. Soul, which was made by the same people behind Inside Out (I’m not still crying over that) was supposed to debut in theaters. Theater closures of course killed all that. The beautiful artistic masterpiece Soul ended up on Disney+ on Christmas Day instead of the theatrical release it deserved (with only a limited theatrical release in certain countries like the UK for LFF.)
When it was first announced one didn’t really know what to expect from it. Instead of taking us inside the mind, it took us on another path. This time we go to what makes us unique. Jamie Foxx lends his voice to Joe Gardner an aspiring Jazz Musician who is stuck as a middle school band teacher. Getting his big break to change his life forever, a freak accident lands him on the road to the “Great Beyond”. Rejecting that he ends up in the “Great Before” and a journey to return to his earthly body ensues. Along the way, he’s accompanied by the soul Number 22 (voiced by Tina Fey), who follows him on his journey.
Pixar continues to blow us away with its’ animation. From an artistic standpoint, both Earth and especially the Great Before are visual masterpieces. Yes, it keeps the same elements that made Inside Out such a wonder to watch but it treats it differently. Sadly, Joe’s original human form lasts about 9 minutes and 30 seconds into the film before it becomes his “soul form”. While he is what many referred to as essentially a “green blob”, this version of him still is able to keep the same personality and feel that human Joe had. It’s super scary how much his human form looks like Jamie Foxx so huge kudos to the Pixar animation team on that.
Every single scene and frame of this entire film keeps you so engaged by how wonderfully illustrated it is. I honestly could not rip myself away from his film because of gorgeous it is. It’s not just a killer storyline that makes a great film (which Soul has already) but it is also the animation.
Pixar, as we have seen, is not only great at storytelling and animation but is great at getting audiences to get emotionally involved. If you aren’t crying by the end of this film do you really have a soul? (No pun intended.)
That’s why this year’s pick for our Golden Cages Best Animated Feature goes to Soul – because it literally checks all the boxes. I can’t wait to see what Pixar comes up with next and if you haven’t headed out on your soul-searching adventure in this movie, what are you waiting for? Soul is available to stream now on Disney+.