It took Soul‘s 22 a long, long time to start her own life. Before Joel Gardner, the blue being was happy spending her entire existence in the Great Before, much to the chagrin of her numerous mentors. But her many eons there involved more than just trying to avoid life or terrorizing her teachers. A new clip from Pixar‘s upcoming prequel short “22 vs. Earth” shows 22 also spent time trying to destroy the planet.
“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.”
The prequel short’s first footage highlights just how diabolical Tina Fey’s 22 really was before Soul. In the clip, she recruits a group of impressionable young souls to help in her quest for world annihilation. “Apocalypse” might be a perfect moniker for the organization. But those adorable little masked faces don’t exactly scream “destruction.” They look more like cute kids playing cops and robbers.
Pixar veteran Kevin Nolting directs the short. It came from an idea that arose during production of the film. “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,” said Nolting in a statement. “’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.”
The short will also give fans a different perspective on what typical souls are like in the Great Before. “I think the new souls make the short so fun—the contrast of their pure innocence and delight with the cynical expectations of 22,” said Nolting. “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.”
That might not make for a great mentor. But it should make for a great short when “22 vs. Earth” comes to Disney+ on April 30.