Soul: Oscar Nominee Arrives on Blu-ray, DVD

Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) in Soul. © 2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The Oscar-nominated Soul is now available for audiences to physically bring home on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD.

I first saw Soul ahead of the Critics Choice Super Awards voting in December. Writing my review was an honest to G-d struggle. This film is such a beautiful film and words were hard to come by. Finding the words were next to impossible at times. No, really, it was. Soul truly deserves every award during this extended season. It truly does. Will Pixar will ever be able to top the film? I can’t say for certain. They can always try. It’s already better than Inside Out and that’s really saying something!

Fans can pick up a limited edition gallery book at Target or a collectible SteelBook at Best Buy. Listen, I love Disney+. Disney+ contains a worth of content but there’s nothing better than holding these movies in your hands. I’m not alone in thinking this. Plus, you never know when the internet will go out! But I digress. Anyway, come Oscar Sunday, you can probably say you own an Oscar winner. Given what’s happened so far, things are looking good. On Wednesday night, Soul earned a Producers Guild Award for animated feature.

What follows is my original review in addition to the bonus features:

Soul is perhaps the best film to come from the world of Pixar as director/co-writer Pete Docter manages to best his earlier film, Inside Out.

It’s no surprise that Soul is one of the best films to come from 2020.  After all, Pete Docter is the same filmmaker behind Oscar winner Inside Out.  Going into this year, Inside Out was my #1 Pixar film.  I’m going to have to do some sleeping on it but Soul could very well be tied at the top of the Pixar rankings.  It’s such a moving film with its lessons about learning how to live.  I am at a loss of words following my first viewing (for the Critics Choice Super Awards voting at the start of December).

The gist of the film is that middle school band teacher Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) gets the gig of a lifetime to play at one of New York’s best jazz clubs.  There’s just one minor problem: he takes a misstep and ends up at the World Before.  His body ends up at a hospital in the meantime.  He wants to get back to his body and that’s where the comedy ensues.  You see, Joe meets 22 (Tina Fey) while in The World Before.  Before I go further, I guess I should explain a little bit about this world.  This is where all souls go to get all the lovely quirks, interests, and traits that help to make up their personality.  Meanwhile, 22 has never known what it means to live as a human so they don’t understand why Joe wants to be back in his body so badly.

That’s the spoiler-free version in a gist.  It’s such a beautiful film and if you’re like me, you will love it.  Much like Onward earlier this year, Soul is a film that will tug at your emotions.  The two films are close thematically but I think Onward requires more Kleenex boxes.

What is there that one can say about an emotionally moving and beautiful film?  This isn’t the first time that Pixar has taken us between the land of the living and another realm.  In this instance, The World Before.  And while the it’s not the full-fledged Pixar musical that we’re still waiting for, Jon Baptiste makes original jazz contributions while Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross pen the score.

Bonus Features*

  • Deleted Scenes
    • Introduction – Writer Mike Jones and story supervisor Kristen Lester introduce the Soul deleted scenes.
    • Mentor Orientation – Joe sneaks into the You Seminar Mentor Program orientation, trying to figure out how on earth he can get back to…Earth.
    • Clubhouse Forgery – Joe follows 22 into her “secret lair” as she reluctantly agrees to help him find his way back to Earth.
    • Home Lessons – Stuck inside Joe’s body, 22 clumsily attempts to help the downstairs neighbor.
    • Living the Dream – Joe has a heart-to-heart with 22 about her fear of living on Earth, then tries to make his way back home via a dream portal.
    • Press Shot – Joe, stuck in a cat’s body, and 22, stuck in Joe’s body, take the subway to the jazz club for a publicity photography session.
  • Audio Commentary – View the film with audio commentary by director Pete Docter, co-director/writer Kemp Powers and producer Dana Murray.
  • Not Your Average Joe – See the thought and care that went into crafting Joe and his story in Pixar’s first film to feature a Black leading character.
  • Astral Taffy – Get an in-depth look at the artistry and technical innovation that went into creating the sets and characters in the world of Soul.
  • Pretty Deep for a Cartoon – The filmmakers tackle big questions, such as where does a newborn’s personality come from, what’s the meaning of life, and more!
  • Into the Zone: The Music and Sound of Soul – Explore the movie’s different sonic worlds and discover how music drives and adds specificity to Joe’s journey.
  • Soul, Improvised – See how the Pixar Systems team and Soul’s crew managed to finish the film on schedule during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Jazz Greats – Giants of the jazz world who consulted on Soul share their passion and hard-won wisdom about what music is and does for us all.

*Bonus features may vary by retailer and product.

DIRECTOR:  Pete Docter
CO-DIRECTOR:  Kemp Powers
SCREENWRITERS:  Pete Docter, Mike Jones and Kemp Powers
CAST:  Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir-Khalib Thompson a.k.a. Questlove, Angela Bassett, Daveed Diggs

Soul is now available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.