‘Soul’ rivals the Pixar classics but might aim too high for the kids

The best Disney/Pixar animated movies straddle the line between delighting children and adults. “Soul,” a Pixar title diverted to Disney+, tilts toward the latter, beautifully exploring the meaning of life that should resonate more with adults than younger souls.

That warning aside, it’s an addition to Pixar’s library worthy of its classics. While the movie might not have been a commercial slam dunk, it’s hard not to admire a premise that dares to tackle such lofty ideas as life after death and what makes living worthwhile, as filtered through the hopes and dreams of Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx).

A school music teacher, Joe has spent his life yearning to make it as a musician, pursuing gigs at the expense of his career. When the opportunity suddenly presents itself to live out those dreams, his distracted glee leads to his untimely demise.

The idea of animation tackling big, existential themes makes the direct-to-streaming gambit less of a financial sacrifice.

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