Had an interesting discussion with two black colleagues after work today, about the daily grind of injustices black men and boys go through all the time.

I'd like to tell you it's improved since when my family participated in the MLK Jr days of action in Philadelphia and DC, but ...

Happy New Year anyway!


Soul is not merely black culture. It is more specific, more meaningful. Not all black food is soul food, not all black music is soul music.

We can not talk about black American soul without talking about the black American church, a topic foreign to and deeply uncomfortable for our poor bumbling Mudede.


Thanks for the review. I'll set my expectations a little bit lower, although ... come to think of it, that is pretty much where they were to begin with. I really didn't expect a deeply moving, shall I say, soulful film, even though I admire Pixar big time. I expected, at best, something like "Up", but with a black lead. Fair enough. "Soul", like "Up", not "Soul" like "Soul Train" (now that show had Black Soul).

Speaking of "Up", I don't see how you put Ratatouille above "Up". Yes, it is largely middle class white sentimentalism. And yes, it wasn't particularly clever, or even memorable for most of it. But who the hell produces a cartoon that has everyone in the audience weeping after the opening scene? Yeah, that's right, only Pixar. They do that shit better than everyone. Grab the tissues, while the kids wait for the next joke. I'll definitely watch this one.


@4 Been a while since you saw Bambi, eh?


Glad you enjoyed it, Mudede. I'm looking forward to seeing it, especially after the awful taste left in my mouth by Wonder Woman 1984.

I think maybe you fell for the faux outrage clicks that Elle was going for in their review, who seem to be clutching their pearls over nothing (there are plenty of films where the main character dies - or "dies" - at the start, their race doesn't enter into it, and don't ALL people turn into colored blobs when they reach this idea of the afterlife?), but I haven't had the chance to see it myself yet so my opinion means little in this regard.


we talking about cartoons now?


If I may, as a very privileged white man, break this down to other privileged white people:

Above all else, Charles is a black man who has shaped our city. His work has filled these pages for more than a decade. Questioning him with an "OH, you're in charge of [story topic] now?!?" shows that you know neither his work nor his background. A long look in the mirror is required if you think you have standing to come at him.

His interpretation of this film is his own, thus it cannot be incorrect. Also not incorrect, the fact that black voices in animation are seldom black people. Shrek's Donkey, the blobs in this film, Lion King, Zebra in Madagascar, etc. Human characters are white. Jive-talking animals are black. Someone will soon list some exceptions to this and perhaps point out Fat Albert. Don't.

Covid-19 disproportionately impacts lower-income families because they lack wfh-compatible jobs and access to chop-chop healthcare. It is also a global tragedy to a level where any apathetic critic of empathy is automatically a garbage person. There are dead people, hundreds of thousands of them buried or burnt in 9 months, each of whom leaving behind a loving family who likely didn't think they would have to put on their funeral outfits this year. "OH, you're the covid guy now?!?”. Long look in the mirror. One long look.

This film review points out that "Soul" is not a black movie. It is a movie with a black character who, for a decent portion of the film, is not a black character. Therefore, the "Soul" in the film is the "soul" that defines record-store sections and radio station genres. It is not the "soul" that unites disenfranchised people around the world, forced from their homes by imperialist profiteers. Charles earned his spot to send Disney back to the drawing board. In the year where most white people empathize with the plight of Black Americans simply by acknowledging their "lives", a minimally-qualitative currency only cited when either lost or saved, Hollywood owes America a better look at Black culture with empathy and inclusion.

And you, privileged white commenters, owe America a better look too. A long one, in the mirror, at yourself. You voted for Biden, you did the BLM thing, you wear a mask, but what are you? Are you someone spreading love and inclusion and peace, or are you LOLing online between trips to to find a Covid fare to an all-inclusive resort in a South American country of your ample choosing? Do Black lives matter to you? Do you empathize with people in compromised communities? Do you fight racism in all forms? Or do you just ride the serotonin spike when pointing out that others don't?

What are you? Take that looong look at yourself and figure it out. In the meantime, don't come at Black people. Like ever.


Are you someone spreading love and inclusion and peace, or are you LOLing online between trips to to find a Covid fare to an all-inclusive resort in a South American country of your ample choosing?

Good god, what kind of people do you hang out with? Although I have to thank you - that one sentence has shown me how badly I need to find a different site to read with coffee.


@12 it's Puerto Rico for me, oceanside condo for $3500/month I'm all about trickle down economics and prefer to keep my dollars in US territories.


"soul is not a black movie"
Duh, it's a kids movie that's tolerable for adults. Maybe one day Tyler Perry will make a 3D animated feature.


Wow. SPOILERS MUCH?! What happened to warning readers who may have not yet seen a movie (that just came out) before you give away the ENTIRE PLOT?! I was excited to see this movie too. Not so much anymore. Thanks.


Pixar's acknowledgement that Black Lives Exist, 'Black Panther,' and the possible replacement of 007's Daniel Craig with Idris Elba makes it Easier for young Black people to see themselves as Human Beings that Matter; getting them killed off in the first ten minutes hits a little too close to Home for far too many.

with 'McMoscow' KkKonnell's rapidly-approaching Austerity (for the 90%), we the peeps need to recognize WHO to be pissed off at. these Culture Wars are merely the Smokescreen the so-called right utilizes to keep our eyes off The Prize: an Economy that respects ALL of US.


We see a pattern emerging here whereby blacks are repeatedly marginalized in Hollywood films, often to the benefit of white characters, which perpetuates the white oppressor orthodoxy, and dovetails with author Ijeoma Oluo's allegations of white mediocrity. You will notice that all too frequently the first character to die is a black character, as if to say blacks are dispensable, at least in the eyes of white Hollywood scriptwriters. At the base level, this is veiled old-school racism, like having Jesus portrayed by some buffed-out white actor. Hollywood continues to crank out mental Wonder bread for the white middle-class.


Thank you, #12. I could have read only Mudede's review and your comment and left very satisfied.

I too really liked Soul but had some obscured thoughts that I couldn't quite articulate. This review really captured them.

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