Loved Soul? It’s Time to Uncover More About 22 and the Meaning of Life in Pixar’s New Short

22 vs Earth

If there’s one thing that we know about having grown up watching Disney films, it’s that they’re just as much for adults as they are for kids.

When you take the story line’s of Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Soul, at their core are stories of the human condition. Love, loss and purpose.

Director Kevin Nolting knows all too well about the true meaning of Disney films having worked on titles such as Inside Out, Soul, Toy Story 4, Wall-E and Cars (to name a few) and his new short film, being released on Disney+, explores the meaning of life — clearly an adult concept.

“That’s what Pixar is really good at obviously,” he told POPSUGAR Australia ahead of the short film’s release.

“As we go through this with this movie, as we went through with Inside Out and with this movie [writer] Pete [Docter] comes up with these concepts that clearly on the surface, are very adult concepts, but if you dig into it, kids are there too.”

When making a Disney Pixar film, part of the process is bringing children in to watch it mid-way through production.

“There’s a preview with a moderator,” he said. “They just ask innocent questions like trying to suss out whether they enjoyed it and seeing what they got out of it and we were just blown away by how much kids understand. We work on making it more entertaining for everybody but really, we just have to give kids more credit.”

In 22 vs Earth — a film set before the events of the Oscar-winning Soul (2020) — 22 defies the rules of The Great Before and refuses to go to Earth. Instead, she enlists a gang of five 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. 

Just like its predecessor Soul, the short focuses on the concept of the meaning of life and Nolting didn’t have a definitive answer to what he thought that was.

“I can’t say, it changes every second,” he said.

Well, for us, it seems that the meaning of Nolting’s life is to bring joy to millions of people over the world.

Stream 22 vs. Earth on Disney+ beginning April 30, 2021.

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