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“22 Vs Earth” Takes Us Back To The Great Before

Soul was one of my favorite movies from 2020, and like so many others who watched and loved the film, I was curious about 22. We know she ended up on Earth, but we don’t know what happened when she got there. That, it turns out, was very much by design.

“22 Vs. Earth” is Pixar’s new animated short that takes place before the events of Soul. When I asked why they decided to take on a prequel instead of a sequel, director Kevin Nolting said that 22’s eventual life on Earth had been explored when making Soul. “There were even a couple of scenes actually storyboarded where we saw where she ended up, and ultimately, it just wasn’t satisfying.”

“I find it more satisfying to explore where she came from, rather than where she went,” contines Nolting. “I just I like imagining where she would be rather than being told a specific thing myself.”

The voice cast of “22 Vs. Earth” featured three of the stars from Soul, Tina Fey as 22 along with Richard Ayoade and Alice Braga as two of the counselors named Jerry. While Braga was able to record on the Pixar campus, both Fey and Ayoade had to record from home due to the pandemic. “We’re all comfortable with zoom now,” says Nolting. “But at that time, everything was new.”

In addition to 22 and the counselors, we meet a cute little band of souls that 22 names the “Apocolypse.” With a name like that, you can probably guess that they might be fairly mischievous. It turns out they were even more trouble in earlier versions of the short. “One good note we got was to sort of soften that up,” reports Nolting. “There are all different types of people in the world, so you don’t want to show them all bad.”

You can return to the Great Before and meet the Apocalypse for yourself in “22 Vs. Earth,” streaming now on Disney+.

About 22 Vs. Earth

Set before the events of Disney and Pixar’s Oscar®-winning feature film “Soul,” 22 refuses to go to Earth, enlisting a gang of 5 other new souls in her attempt at rebellion. However, as her cohorts’ activities lead to unexpected results, 22’s subversive plot may actually lead to a surprising revelation about the meaning of life.

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