Director: Pete Docter and Kemp Powers
Year Released: 2020
Just as he's about to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a professional jazz musician - and play with Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett) - middle school music teacher Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) dies falling into a sewer hole but refuses to go "into the light" - while up in the "Great Before," he has to mentor a petulant new soul (Tina Fey) who doesn't want to be born. Pixar is at its most impressive when it combines philosophy and psychology with whatever cutesy story it's telling, and while this is a far cry from their best work - it feels like they're making it up as they go along, and the body swapping plot device is a little lame - I like the life re-affirming nature of it: even in the worst moments, there are small pleasures to be taken from being on Earth and held down by gravity. Also, I'm not sure why Joe is so reluctant to head to the Great Beyond: isn't that where Duke, Bird, Monk, Miles, Cannonball and Mingus are playing every night?