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What is My Purpose?

What is My Purpose?

Disney Pixar Delivers Yet Again 

By Israel Gutierrez 

“What is it that makes you… YOU?” [1] Disney Pixar asks this question in the recently released animated movie “Soul” (2020).

This movie follows the life of Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) who is a middle-school band teacher from New York City. After finally getting the opportunity of his life to play piano with a band at the best jazz club in town, luck takes a turn sending him all the way to The Great Before after falling down a manhole where the landing knocks him unconscious.

Soul (2020), available on Disney+. Photo by Imdb.

In The Great Before, new souls are given personalities and passions to prepare them for being sent down to earth to become humans.

Joe and a soul by the name of “22” who has struggled to find their purpose work together to help Joe get back to his body. While 22 learns all about the human experience, Joe is on a journey to discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions.

With plenty of humorous moments and hilarious characters, it is a movie that is sure to bring lots of laughs and inspire people to enjoy life and make every day count.

With an award-winning cast of voice actors and a mind-boggling display of stellar animation, this animated film was set up for success. With a score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes [2] and an 8.2/10 on IMBD, [3] this movie is definitely a fan favorite that the whole family will love.

While watching the story unfold, I was captivated by the amount of detail in the animation; the New York skyline lit up the night in a breathtaking display, golden hour during a beautiful New York City evening, even details down to the sweat on Joe’s forehead after playing the piano, and the cracks in the ground of the subway platform.

It all felt so real. The only thing keeping me grounded in knowing it was all animated was the characters themselves. It was almost as if the characters were placed in the real world. The character animations, each with their own unique body type and features, showed the amazing diversity of people.

Beautiful New York City evening. Photo by Pixar. 

Another thing I appreciated was the representation of people of color. In the past, people of color haven’t really been represented much in movies. And when they were, it was always some story about the struggle of being black in the hoods of America. For years, Hollywood has been cashing checks while exploiting the traumatic experiences of black people.

It is nice to see that recently people of color have been getting more and more positive representation. This is Pixar’s first black lead in one of their animated movies and Jamie Foxx did what Jamie Foxx always does: he killed the role.

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Just like in this movie, I am also on a journey to find who I am and what my purpose is. While going through the motions of life, sometimes our journey takes us on paths we don’t expect. It is in moments of uncertainty that we truly figure out who we really are.

It is a story about finding out who you really are and who you want to be, a fun animated journey to finding life’s purpose and learning about what really matters. To my fellow college students who are in the same boat of uncertainty, this movie will be worth the watch.


Soul. (2020, December 25). Disney. Retrieved from

Soul (2020). (n.d.). Rotton Tomatoes. Retrieved from

Soul. (2020, December 24). IMDb. Retrieved from

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