The animated film Soul Disney and Pixar is one of the gems of 2020 at the last minute. Certainly the end left no one untouched. Yet it was correct that this caused a lot of discussion among the makers.
We had to wait a long time for us Soul could view. Due to the corona crisis, the film has been postponed several times, after which Disney decided to put it directly on their streaming service Disney + on Christmas. In retrospect, this day actually fits perfectly with this gem from Pixar.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you better stop now, because spoilers are coming:
Joe and 22
Soul is about the frustrated jazz musician Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) who finally gets his chance as a pianist after years of muddling. But just then he dies after a stupid accident. However, Joe is determined to return to Earth, but it turns out that it is not that simple. Moreover, in the afterlife he is linked to 22 (Tina Fey), a frustrated little soul who has no meaning in life on earth.
In the end both ended up on the earth, where 22 sees that life is not as bad as she thought. When they are back in the afterlife, Joe decided to give his chance to live on 22. As a reward for that generosity, the Terry’s – a kind of companions in the afterlife – give him another chance on Earth.
But that ending turned out not to be a unanimous choice of all creators of Soul. “We have versions of the ending where Joe doesn’t return to his body, where he actually remains dead. We have versions of the ending where you see Joe on Earth a year later. Man, that ending sparked more discussion than any other element of the film I think, ”said Kemp Powers, one of the screenwriters of Soul, to ET.
“Oh yes, there were certainly different camps. Because I think people felt like we were cheating if we let him go back. On the other hand, story-wise, you can’t teach Joe to enjoy life the right way and then rob him of it. So that didn’t seem right to us, although that was the original plan, ”adds his colleague Pete Docter.
In fact, the idea of Joe not going back to Earth was already fully fleshed out, Powers explains.
“In it he ends up as a mentor in the You Seminar, a permanent mentor. He stayed and eventually became the best mentor ever, introducing many new ideas at the You Seminar. He kind of revolutionized it. It was really cute and really funny and it pissed off some people, but you know, you learn by trying. It didn’t work, but it was fun to look at that idea. ”
Ultimately, the makers decided to give Joe the chance to apply what he had learned from 22 to himself on earth.