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‘Soul,’ ‘22 vs. Earth’ and finding your spark

| Friday, May 7, 2021

Maggie Klaers | The Observer

Pixar really hit it out of the park when they released their newest feature film “Soul.”

“Soul” tells the story of an aspiring jazz musician named Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) who must try and reunite his body and soul after they’re separated by a freak accident. Along the way, he must redefine himself and help a soul named 22 (Tina Fey) who is avoiding Earth. One year later, Pixar has released a new short film titled “22 vs. Earth,” a prequel to “Soul,” where 22 continues her evasion of Earth. 

Both of these films seem to have been a success for Disney+. But besides that, these two films seem to convey a huge and meaningful message about real life that I feel like everyone should follow: Find your spark of inspiration. So, how does “Soul” convey such a powerful message of finding your spark of inspiration in life? 

As I said earlier, “Soul” is about a musician who has to reunite his body and soul after a freak accident, as well as help other souls find their spark. Everyone on the face of the Earth has a reason for being here; we just have to find our spark of inspiration as to why. As a college undergraduate student, I see this film as an inspiration for me because it opened my eyes to what each soul’s spark of inspiration is and how they often struggle to find it. 

We all struggle with this even as we go through our college years. “22 vs. Earth” is an example of us rejecting our own spark of inspiration; we often complain about how we cannot make a difference in the world with what spark of inspiration we have discovered in our life. This is why we constantly change our majors until we are halfway done with our college years, when we need to have a pretty good idea of what we want to do with our lives. 

I personally love both of these films, not because they are for children, but because they are also for college students. We tend to think that we have no inspiration on Earth, but in a sense we are like 22. We all want to finish up our time on Earth and be in a sort of vegetative state, where we have no reason at all to be here. In the grand scheme of things, though, we eventually grow out of our negative emotions and find out why we are put on this planet. At one point during “Soul,” 22 becomes a lost soul, which is prevalent in our lives. We often become lost in the world, and that is when we lose our spark of inspiration. 

“Soul” also conveys another important message of not taking anything for granted. Gardner’s obsession with becoming a jazz musician results in him going into a comatose state, as well as his wanting to return to Earth after his soul is detached from his body. We often become obsessed with different things that we enjoy in the world. Whether it be music, education or sports, we all become obsessed with something and that is just human instinct. But we do not seem to take into account that obsession is not a good thing, and it can make us become a lost soul like 22 or someone who wants to return to reality like Gardner.

In conclusion, “Soul” and “22 vs. Earth” showcase powerful messages of obsession and finding one’s spark of inspiration that should stick with people, especially college students. “Soul” is one of the most powerful animated films that Pixar has ever created and it has stuck with me to this day.

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