Heart and ‘Soul’ family viewing

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“Soul”… early reviews have seen it showered in praise.

Columnist NICK OVERALL says this is going to be a big year, the biggest, for streaming entertainment.

AN all-time favourite holiday tradition of my brother and I was to subject our parents to the antics of Kevin McCallister in the Christmas classic “Home Alone”. 

Nick Overall.

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” wasn’t even being played to death in every shopping centre or café before we’d have our “Home Alone” DVD getting a workout through to well after New Year had come and gone. 

In 2020, the film has earned a home in the Disney Plus’ streaming catalogue, the platform positioning itself as the one-stop family streaming shop. That’s certainly now more than ever with its streaming the newest Pixar animation offering, “Soul”.

Originally intended for a cinematic run that was once again pushed to streaming because of covid, the film is sure to be a big hit with families enjoying some time off. 

It’s about a middle-school music teacher who dreams of becoming a professional jazz musician, however an untimely accident results in the man’s soul losing connection with his body sending him on a mystical journey so that he can rejoin the two.

In what has become the usual affair for Pixar films, early reviews of “Soul” have seen it showered in praise and recognised as one of Pixar’s most original and fantastical premises in quite some time. Sounds pretty out there.

As Netflix moves into the new year, it too has plenty of stuff to keep viewers locked in. 

David Attenborough in space? Netflix continues to expand its variety of content with a new four part “nature” documentary series which has had more than a bit of attention for its unusual twist. In this one, the “nature” it covers isn’t actually what’s found here on Earth, but what might be found on another planet. 

The wonders of modern science and computer-generated graphics come together to form a series about life that could live in extra-terrestrial worlds where the gravity, climate, geography or any other cosmic oddity is different to that of Earth.

It’s called “Alien Worlds”, and although the planets and the flora and fauna they possess are “fictional”, don’t take it all to be a work of science fiction or fantasy. 

The work that went into imagining these strange and surreal environments is all grounded in the research based here on our home planet, exploring how different conditions may lead different creatures to inhabit these strange lands. It makes for quite the educational viewing, not to mention an eye-popping one.

Back down on Earth, Netflix has dropped another doco, but this one might have an age barrier to it – “Nicolas Cage’s History of Swear Words” is educational viewing about the origin of and subsequent use of all kinds of colourful language throughout history. 

Whoever came up with the idea for Nicolas Cage to host such a show deserves a pay rise.

This is only the start though. Warner Bros is releasing its entire catalogue of films on streaming and Disney Plus is getting the ball rolling on its endless “Marvel” and “Star Wars” content. 

Twenty, that’s right, 20 new TV shows or films across both those universes have been announced. Many will aim to give hours of back story to even the most minor of side characters in these stories, and people can’t get enough of it.

Netflix, Binge, Amazon and all the rest are going to have to fight that extra bit harder with new blockbuster content to keep up with it all – 2021 is set to be the biggest year of streaming media yet.

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