After the Oscar nominations for the 2021 awards were announced, people immediately noticed Disney had two movies in the running for Best Animated Movie.
Some online have mentioned that other studios deserve recognition for once. Others have pointed out that front-runner Soul deserves everything it is nominated for.
There are plenty of good reasons for this movie to win Best Animated Movie. Disney may have won multiple times over the Oscars history, but Soul, in particular, is more deserving than any Disney movie in recent history.
For the first time in Pixar’s history, Soul features the main cast of African-American characters. But most importantly it has a heavy note of jazz music, a genre made up by Black artists. As the main character, Joe’s father said, “Black improvisational music. It’s one of our great contributions to American culture.”
One thing that people have loved about the movie is how accurate the lives of black people are, mainly the ones that live in New York City like Joe. Especially the barber scene.
The deep exploration into the unique experience of one black American is a great step to creating more representation for those watching. Its exploration into the meaning of our lives on Earth adds another layer of depth to the main story.
Everything about the story has a moment people can relate to in some way. If not in the story, at the very least in the moments of life Joe has experienced. There’s a beauty in the quiet moments of life that can be appreciated by so many.
One of the best features of the movie is the music. Jazz is not necessarily a mainstream genre, but Soul uses it in a way that makes anyone enjoy it. Seeing Joe “in the zone” on the piano is absolutely incredible and sounds amazing. You can’t help but feel Joe’s love for the piano and jazz throughout the story.
Even the music in the hypothetical realm has a different sort of beat to it that makes it fun and different for those parts of the movie.
The end credits then roll with an original song from Jon Batiste called “It’s Alright”. It’s an incredible song with a light tune and simple lyrics that drive home everything the movie has been setting up for audiences.
Soul’s main purpose is to remind us that life doesn’t always have to be about the biggest goals we set for ourselves. It’s not about whether or not our life is interesting or exciting. There’s no real need to do such big things.
Instead, Soul shows us how the little things in life are most important. From standing on a beach with our feet in the water to sitting and listening to the world move around us. The desires we have to do big and important things distract us from the little things that make up a good life.
Soul wants to remind us to stop and see those little things. To live every day in the best way possible.
So, while some may dispute that Disney has won their fair share of Best Animated Movie at the Oscars. This time, it’s different. This time, the front-runner Soul deserves to win this year for its story, music, and message.