Only three animated movies have ever been nominated for Best Picture—Beauty and the Beast, Up, and Toy Story 3. Sure, there's a Best Animated Feature category at the Academy Awards, but everyone knows the real respect comes from being nominated for Best Picture.
Far too often, Best Animated Feature is treated like "Best Kids' Movie." If you've seen Soul, you could hardly call it a movie for children. It's an existential crisis wrapped in a morality lesson. It's a movie about appreciating the small moments and not waiting for the moment you think you've "made it."
These are deep issues that apply to everyone, and this movie never backs down or sidesteps them. It takes this stuff head-on.
Check out this video from The Royal Ocean Film Society, and let's talk after.
I think a lot of these musings are really determined by whether or not you enjoyed Soul. While I think the video makes a really strong argument for why a company taking a shot at making a movie for adults should be rewarded, I think the way to achieve parity in Hollywood is to nominate the films we think are deserving. So no matter if someone takes a risk or subverts a medium, we should be honoring the ones that pay off.
That being said, I think Soul definitely pays off, and in a year with limited releases, I feel like it shines within the tops of what I have seen. For me, I really appreciated the subversion and experimentation within the story. We could have stayed in the after and before the entire movie, but the story is bold enough to pull off a body switch several times and to make the character's wants and desires more important than just showing up for the big show.
So what did you think? Let me know in the comments.