22 Against the Earth on Disney +: the endearing character of Soul returns in an optimistic short

22 Against the Earth on Disney +: the endearing character of Soul returns in an optimistic short

Soul spin-off, 22 Against the Earth is a short film centered on the mischievous soul of the Pixar animated feature before he met Joe in The Big Before. AlloCiné spoke with Kevin Nolting, the director of this fiction.

The success of the animated jewel Soul, available on Disney + and recently awarded the prize for best animated film, allows Pixar studios to offer today on the platform the short film 22 against the Earth. Centered on the course of 22, the sarcastic soul that evolves with Joe Gardner in Soul, the short film takes place before the animated film.

French actress Camille Cottin once again lends her voice to 22, an eccentric, lively and endearing character from Soul. AlloCiné spoke with the director of 22 Against the Earth, Kevin Nolting, who promises an optimistic experience and a true reflection on existence and the human condition.

AlloCiné: Why did you choose to focus the short film on 22?

Kevin Nolting: As you know, 22 was part of the feature film Soul, which follows the adventures of Joe and his “soul”. 22, whose original voice is played by actress Tina Fey, has only a secondary role. But during Soul’s three years of designing, we had developed several facets of the character 22 with quite a few gags and mini stories.

The Walt Disney Company

And since we wanted to explore the Soul universe through other characters, we thought it would make sense to do it with 22. I think there are several questions about the complex nature of 22 and this short film allows us to elucidate some of them, in particular why she has a “hatred” of planet Earth.

Is it easier to make a short film with the production of a feature in parallel?

Kevin Nolting: It is certain that with the extensive production of the feature, it saved us time to design the short film. Especially since we had a limited budget and a limited time to create this film. And so, we couldn’t have created a new environment and new characters.

It was a huge advantage to re-use the universe of 22. That said, we had the pressure to try to do as well as with the long which had the success that you know, especially with the Oscar for best. animated film this year.

I am always amazed at how our children are so alert to adult questions. I hope this film, like Soul, will make us think even more about our human condition and what unites us as humans.

What are the themes covered in this short film?

Kevin Nolting: Optimism! And I am one of those who consider myself to be quite an optimist, despite life’s various challenges. I think the main questions raised by this short are: “Who am I? What defines me and where am I going?” I like the positive side of 22 and think it’s a good way to deal with the negativity.

What’s interesting about 22 is this confrontation with herself. She’s someone who claims she doesn’t want to live, but in fact she wants to live more than everyone else. In any case, we try not to impose any message whatsoever and we try to amuse, to entertain as much as possible the young audience for which this short is intended.

The Walt Disney Company

I think young people today are smart enough to understand the meaning of what we’re trying to explore with 22 against Earth. Moreover, during the production of all our films, we do mini tests with children to find out their reactions.

I am always amazed at how our children are so alert to adult questions. I hope this film, like Soul, will make us think even more about our human condition and what unites us as humans.

Do you feel close to 22?

Kevin Nolting: Absolutely and that’s why I chose to direct it. Like me, she took her time to find out what she really wants to do with a living. I think that, like her, I realized the meaning of my life quite late. I have been editing for a long time and I really found my passion by moving to directing.

Hence this short film as a first attempt in this direction. It is a logic in the evolution of my career. I acquired the necessary tools to advance in animation, by listening to others and observing them. It is also an exercise in patience, which is a character trait that our character 22 ultimately develops during his career.

Are there any “easter eggs” in 22 tales of the Earth?

Kevin Nolting: Yeah and that’s what animators love to do. I’ll let you discover them but there are notably two “easter eggs” which are a tribute to Apocalypse Now.

Our musical interview with Omar Sy, Camille Cottin and Ramzy Bedia for Soul:

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