If there’s been one steady-drumbeat message that has thundered across the Twitterverse for several weeks now, it’s that Pete Docter‘s Soul (Disney, 12.25) is a truly exceptional animated feature…a half-emotional, half-philosophical, jazz-embroidered film so rich and resonant and full-hearted that it deserves to be in Best Picture contention. (Which of course will never happen as far as the Academy is concerned because, being animated, it belongs in Best Animated Feature contention.)

And then along comes Variety‘s award-season handicapper, a guy more or less required to not dwell on negative currents (that’s Owen Gleiberman or Peter Debruge‘s job, if and when the situation warrants) and to celebrate the celebrational and be as turn-the-other-cheeky as possible…along comes Clayton Davis with the first significant anti-Soul opinion to come down the pike.

Davis tweeted this morning that as much as he “wanted to love it”, he was unable to. Because “there’s a disconnect between story and character“, and because it feels like an Inside Out ripoff that doesn’t quite land where it’s supposed to.”