If you WEREN’T watching the Oscars last night, you were in good company: the ratings for last night’s awards ceremony ranked among the lowest the Academy has ever registered, down 58% in total viewers from last year, which wasn’t great either. If anyone expected amazing numbers, though, they’ve been living in a cave: due to the shuttering of most American theaters for the past twelve months, nothing had a chance to grab the zeitgeist and become a buzzworthy nominee. The winner was something called Nomadland, and no, we’ve never heard of it either.
What we DID expect was for Pixar to take home another miniature bald naked man, because that’s what they do….and that’s what they did. The existential adventure Soul, a Pete Docter creation (Inside Out, Up), won Best Animated Feature and also took home a trophy for Best Score.
As for the other nominees, Onward was also there, so Pixar was competing with itself…but there was also Netflix’s Over The Moon, Apple TV’s Wolfwalkers, and a Shaun the Sheep movie from Merrie England. Of those listed, only Wolfwalkers had a serious chance of beating Soul.
For what is probably the final time, here’s our summary of Soul‘s plot: Joe Gardner, played by Jamie Foxx, is an aspiring musician who dreams of one day performing at his favorite jazz club, The Blue Note. One day the club holds open auditions, and Joe nails his — but then he falls into a manhole right afterward. Not willing to skip away into the Great Beyond just yet, Joe tries to pull an escape and instead winds up in The Great Before, where souls dwell prior to inhabiting a body. Then Joe meets a Tina Fey ghost, returns to the world, has a lot of body-swap hijinks, and ultimately learns to chill out and just enjoy life as a concept.
Soul is now streamable on Disney+. Pixar’s next film is Luca, which will also debut on the streamer.