December 27th, 2020
Spoiler alert.

In the final scene of Pixar’s Soul, Joe gets a second chance at life.

When Joe is asked about how he is going to spend his second life, he says:

“I don’t know, but I’m going to live every minute of it.”

He smells the air, then smiles. Then the film ends.

It is the most powerful ending of any film I’ve ever seen. It’s not corny or preachy, either.

I watched Soul for the second time in two nightss, and this time I cried even harder. As the film closed out, I curled into a ball and wept.

There are so many messages to unpack from this film:

  • Finding our “purpose” in life is not what will bring us happiness
  • We become lost when we obsess over something that disconnects us from our lives, even if that something seems “good” (like music, business, etc)
  • We are lucky to have a purpose at all, many people don’t. But we are not ‘better’ than them for this.
  • Sometimes, all we need to do is just tell someone how we really feel (when Joe finally tells his mother why he loves music).
  • It’s not the destination, it’s the journey (when Joe realizes playing with Dorothea doesn’t feel any different)
  • Happiness comes from helping others (helping his student not quit)
  • Happiness comes from enjoying the small parts of life, like pizza, getting a haircut, and human interaction on the subway
  • We are so caught up in our ambitions that we forget to ask our barber about their ambitions. We forget to listen.

I’ll keep watching this film, and writing about it. I can’t think of another film that has impacted me more.