While 2020 was rough for the film industry, Pixar fans were lucky enough to be treated to two Pixar movies rather than the average of one per year. Onward arrived in March, and Soul followed in December, with the latter movie premiering exclusively on Disney+ stateside. Now it’s been announced that a Soul follow-up story is also heading to the Mouse House’s streaming service, only rather than being another feature-length movie, it will be a short film centered on Tina Fey’s character, 22.
When Jamie Foxx’s Joe Gardner met 22 in Soul, she was unwilling to head to Earth with the other souls, and instead spent her time causing trouble in The Great Before. This short film, titled 22 vs. Earth, will take place long before Joe came into 22’s life and delve into her beef with our planet. You also won’t have to wait that long to watch 22 vs. Earth, as it’s hitting Disney+ on April 30.
Directed by Soul editor Kevin Nolting (who’s been working at Pixar for 21 years), 22 vs. Earth sees its title character recruiting a gang of five souls in her attempt at rebellion against going to Earth. However, these other souls’ activities lead to unexpected results, resulting in 22’s subversive plot leading to a surprising revelation about the meaning to life. Here’s what Nolting had to say about 22 vs. Earth:
While making Soul, we talked about the why of a new soul not wanting to live on Earth, but it didn’t ultimately belong in that movie. 22 vs. Earth was a chance to explore some of the unanswered questions we had about why 22 was so cynical. As a fairly cynical person myself, it felt like perfect material.
Besides Tina Fey obviously reprising 22, no other casting details for 22 vs. Earth was announced, and it’s also unclear how long the short film will be. Still, if you watched Soul and enjoyed 22’s hijinks, then it sounds like this short film will be worth your time. Kevin Nolting also said the following about these other souls accompanying 22:
I think the new souls make the short so fun—the contrast of their pure innocence and delight with the cynical expectations of 22. The other new souls are what 22 once was before she took another path—purely innocent, blank slates to be guided by the counselors in their mostly uneventful journey to the earth portal. 22 sees an opening in that and attempts to guide them herself into her way of thinking.
The original Soul movie followed Joe Gardner, a pianist and middle school music teacher, getting the opportunity to play with a jazz legend… only for him to fall down a manhole and become comatose. From there, Joe’s soul managed to avoid passing through The Great Beyond and tried desperately to return to his body, leading to him striking up a unique relationship with 22 upon meeting her in The Great Before. Soul’s cast also included Graham Norton, Phylicia Rashad, Rachel House, Angela Bassett, Alice Braga, Donnell Rawlings, Questlove and Daveed Diggs, among others. Pete Docter and Kemp Powers directed the movie, as well as wrote the script with Mike Jones.
Like so much of Pixar’s cinematic fare, Soul has been met with a lot of positive reviews, and its accolades include winning two Golden Globes and currently being in the running for three Oscars. We’ll find how it does with the latter honors when the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony airs on ABC this Sunday, April 25, but just a few days later, Soul fans will be able to check out 22 vs. Earth on Disney+, so make sure you’re subscribed to the platform.