Review: Pixar’s ‘Soul’ joins mid-life crisis, jazz fantasia

December 24:

Pete Docter’s “Soul” features stairway-to-heaven visions of the afterlife, a pre-birth “before” realm where souls are glowing turquoise orbs and an in-between spiritual realm trafficked by some kind of psychedelic pirate. And yet, kind of magically, it’s about “just regular old living.”

Pixar may have started simple with talking toys, but their concepts have grown increasingly elaborate over the years, giving abstract shape to interior consciousness (“Inside Out”), brightening a peopled world of the dead (“Coco”) and conjuring a mythical suburban land with a father’s half-resurrected body (“Onward”). “Soul” is a step further, again: a grand metaphysical whatsit — a mid-life crisis movie, a New York jazz fantasia and a body-swap comedy, all in one.

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