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Soul Fans Won't Want To Miss Disney-Pixar's 22 Vs. Earth

When the latest film from Pixar Animation Studios hit Disney+ in a direct-to-streaming release late last year, the successes it achieved and milestones it set were nearly innumerable. The first movie to be stamped with the "Disney+ Original" label and the first Disney-Pixar feature to ever skip theaters altogether, a film that critics called an "animated masterpiece" and "an absolute delight," a flick that earned multiple Academy Award nominations plus several BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Critics' Choice wins — "Soul" is all this and more. 

For those wanting more thought-provoking, heartwarming goodness from the world of "Soul," you're in luck: Pixar Animation Studios is releasing a brand-new short entitled "22 vs. Earth," which follows the sarcastic, skeptical soul 22 (voiced by Tina Fey) in the time before the soul of jazz enthusiast and music teacher Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) landed in the Great Before on his journey to the Great Beyond.

See what 22 got up to before the events of Soul

Directed by Kevin Nolting, who has worked at Pixar Animation Studios for over 20 years, "22 vs. Earth" takes place before the events of "Soul," and finds 22 gathering up a group of new souls in her efforts to rebel against the Great Before's rules and never have to visit Earth. Everything starts off in the way that 22 planned — the rebellion is going as smoothly as such a thing can — but it isn't long before the mission 22 and her companions are on begin to teach them big lessons about what life is truly all about. 

"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," director Nolting said in a statement. 

He added that the wide-eyed, innocent new souls who join 22 in her plot make for a hilarious contrast to the cynical soul's demeanor. As Nolting put it, "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."

"22 vs. Earth" will arrive on Disney+ this Friday, April 30.