REVIEW: Look Deep Into Pixar’s ‘Soul’ With These 2 Books

by | Feb 11, 2021 | Magic at Home, WDW Blog

If you enjoyed Pixar’s Soul, added to Disney+ on Christmas Day, learn more about the movie and its themes with the books in this review.

So much about 2020 was unusual, but one thing stayed the same: A holiday film release from Disney or Pixar. Instead of crowding into movie theatres, we gathered around home screens to watch Pixar’s Soul.

The team at Chronicle Books sent me two companion titles to review for WDW Magazine. I was expecting the traditional behind-the-scenes book Art of Soul, but I also received a mindfulness journal full of Soul artwork called Find Your Spark.


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Art of Soul

Front cover of the "Art of Soul" book

Photo by Rebecca Bernard

I have a confession, one that might make me a bad Disney fan. Before today, I have only read one Disney art book, Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast. Opening up Art of Soul, then, was a new experience for me.

I’m used to seeing the sketches that go into a hand-drawn animation film like Mulan. However, I was surprised to see that Pixar movies also start with paper and pencil. 

The interior of the "Art of Soul" book

Photo by Rebecca Bernard

This book is full of drawings the artists did studying jazz culture and designing the You Seminar. 

It was interesting to learn about all the research Soul’s team did to get the feel of the movie just right. 

Seeing the sketches and different working documents really helped me appreciate what goes into creating a feature-length Pixar movie. 

Art of 22 from the "Art of Soul" book

Photo by Rebecca Bernard

My fellow Disney Renaissance Kids may remember cast and crew doing interviews next to clay renderings of their characters on The Disney Channel. 

Called maquettes, animators use them for reference while they’re drawing. I was surprised to see a maquette of 22 in Art of Soul. Unlike the ones from the 90s, though, this one was supported by a framework of LEGO™ bricks. 

Art of Soul is an absolutely gorgeous addition to the long line of feature film Disney art books. I would definitely recommend it for any animation aficionado.

Concept art for the pizza rat in Soul, from the "Art of Soul" book

Photo by Rebecca Bernard

My favorite illustrations were the sketches of Pizza Rat’s cameo. So much work went into deciding on the right look for the internet-famous rodent, and it reflects the overall care the crew took with the story of Joe Gardner and 22.

Find Your Spark

The front cover of the "find your soul" book

Photo by Rebecca Bernard

The second book included in the envelope from Chronicle Books was Find Your Spark. Written by Victoria R. Manley, illustrated by Sophia Lin, and designed by Winnie Ho, this small book features writing prompts alongside Soul-themed art.

If Soul made you seriously think about how you’re living your life, this is a great resource

The interior of the Find your Spark book

Photo by Rebecca Bernard

While it is branded with the movie’s name on the cover, and the artwork is tied into it, there are no film characters or overt film references to distract from its goal, stated on the cover: Gratitude and Self-Discovery. 

Prompts inside the book cover many parts of life, like possessions and childhood memories. 

There are pages of lines to hold your writings, and some blank pages when you’re encouraged to draw. I plan on using my copy to build mindfulness while I’m social distancing. 

Art of the Soul celebrates Pixar’s latest movie, and Find Your Spark helps you grow with its lessons. Both of them are great options if you enjoyed watching Soul on Disney+ this winter.


Did YOU enjoy Pixar’s Soul? Do you plan to get either of the Soul books featured in this review? Tell us over in the comments of our Facebook page!


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Rebecca Bernard works in the automotive industry by day, but by night you can find her with a crazy far-off look and her nose stuck in a book. Some of her favorite childhood memories were made at Walt Disney World, and she can’t wait to visit again to grow her Disney Pin Trading collection.
Rebecca Bernard

Written by Rebecca Bernard

Rebecca Bernard works in the automotive industry by day, but by night you can find her with a crazy far-off look and her nose stuck in a book. Some of her favorite childhood memories were made at Walt Disney World, and she can’t wait to visit again to grow her Disney Pin Trading collection.

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