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Dorothea Williams Joe impresses Dorothea with a surprise solo Questlove

Soul opens with Joe, a middle school band teacher who is unsatisfied with how his career is gone. It’s why he’s unhappy when he’s offered a permanent position at the school. This is not how he imagined his life would go. Joe expected to become a touring jazz pianist, but his big break never came. One day, out of the blue, his former student Curley (Questlove) calls him to fill in for a last-minute vacancy at a concert for a famous fictional jazz musician and saxophone player Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett). Joe impresses Dorothea with a surprise solo as he’s carried away by the opportunity, and she asks him to return for rehearsals later that day. Elated, Joe runs out completely clueless of his surroundings, and falls into an open gutter.

What would be a pivot to a hospital becomes a cue for Soul to spin a metaphysical tale. Joe discovers that he’s arrived in The Great Beyond, the film’s equivalent of heaven. There, he panics and tries to get out — it’s a surprise that not more people are panicking like Joe — but only manages to fall down into The Great Before, which he’s told is the place where souls get their personalities before they arrive on Earth in a body. Joe is inadvertently chosen as a mentor for soul number 22 (Tina Fey, who wrote some of her own lines), who has previously been mentored by the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad Ali, Nicolaus Copernicus, Marie Antoinette, and Carl Jung but is still stuck in The Great Before. This makes for some great throwaway jokes on Soul. cur.aa.ufl.edu/2020/12/25/pxar-watch-soul-movie-full-online-for-free-123movies

22 has no intention of living on Earth, which in turn results in a sullen attitude that she carries everywhere. But that changes after Joe reveals who he truly is. Joe then hitches a plan with the help of 22 to get back to Earth and into his body, which 22 is on board with because it would mean she can happily stay in The Great Before forever. 22 is more than happy to be stuck in limbo.