In Disney and Pixar’s newest triumph of animation, Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) is a jazz pianist biding his time as a middle school band teacher, dreaming of being one of the greats. The same day he’s offered a full-time teaching job, he lands the gig of his dreams—and he also tragically falls down an open manhole in a New York City street. The near-death experience sends his soul on the path to the great beyond, beginning his journey through fantastical worlds as he attempts to get back into his body in time for the evening’s gig, with the help of 22 (Tina Fey), an unborn soul he attempts to mentor. As the pair’s relationship unfolds, half on Earth and half in places beyond imagination, the film confronts mortality, purpose, and passion, theorizing the meaning of life, inventing everything before and after existence. It’s obviously an ambitious setup for a film, and while the animation and the moments of authentic jazz are able to rise to the occasion as the most successful and impressive parts of Soul, the lessons are all at once oversimplified and far too complicated, meaning that the film is a hit—as long as you don’t think too hard about it. As a whole, Soul jumps impossibly high but isn’t quite sure how to land on its feet, veering away from the gut-punching heartbreak of its predecessors but not giving much else in exchange, unsure of its own tone and rulebook. Gardner’s role as protagonist is a small but notable step toward the representation the Black community is owed by Disney and Pixar, which would have been all the more satisfying if he didn’t spend most of the film aiding a white woman and body-switched with a cat.