Movie review: Soul

Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn’t quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz — and he’s good. But when he travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have soul. Reviewed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM)

Full review see Soul

Rated PGThemes: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Not suitable for under 8’s due to complex story and adult themes (death, afterlife, souls, meaning of life etc.)
Duration: 1h 40min

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Soul is a warm-hearted and compelling film with delightful visual animation. It is very enjoyable to watch, but lacks a coherent and cohesive storyline, which may leave both adults and children wondering what the film is actually about. Apart from a couple of dramatic and emotional scenes, there is not much in this film that small children would be scared by, however parents should be aware that this film explores quite mature concepts that may confuse some children and require an explanation. It is therefore not suitable for children under 8 and parental guidance is recommended to 10.

The main messages from this movie are that it is important not to take our life for granted, to appreciate the simple pleasures of life and not be caught in the trap of ambition.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Slowing down to appreciate beauty and importance in simple things.
  • Living in the moment.
  • Finding meaning and purpose in life.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • In this film, there are some ‘lost souls’ who have lost sight of the true meaning in life. What happens in real life when some people get ‘lost’?
  • When soul number 22 becomes a lost soul, Joe hears all the negative thoughts she has inside her. Parents may like to discuss the concept of negative self-talk with their children, and ways that we can counter those thoughts when they happen in our own lives (feelings of worthlessness, depression etc.).
See the trailer here