On April 30, 2021, fans of Pixar’s Soul will be able to watch a new short film, 22 vs. Earth, streaming exclusively on Disney+.
The delightfully funny short film written by Josh Cooley (director of Toy Story 4, Riley’s First Date) and Directed by Kevin Nolting (editor of Soul, Inside Out, Up) features the smark-aleck, 22, behaving exactly as we’d expect her to. She’s plotting and planning for more souls to resist going to live on Earth, just like she wants to avoid.
So, why is she so against our planet? Since she refuses to go to Earth, she has to watch all of her friends go off to live while she is left behind. It’s sad watching her come to the realization that she’ll never have a real relationship if no one else stays in The Great Before with her. But, this is also the setup that leads to the humor.
Watch a clip from Pixar’s YouTube channel below and then read our interview with Kevin Nolting.
KEVIN NOLTING INTERVIEW
We recently had a chance to interview Director Kevin Nolting and chat all about the short’s development.
One of the things we were excited to talk to Kevin about was how he got involved with the project. It’s not often that a veteran editor of the studio ends up directing a short film. Kevin said, “well, I was in the right place at the right time!”
As a few team members of the Story Team were starting on their next projects it made sense to have him work on the project since he edited Soul for several years and knew the characters inside and out.
We asked Kevin if working alongside Pete Docter on so many of his films helped him when working with Noah Newman (22 vs. Earth editor) to portray his vision for the short. “I made a point of not editing this film. I’ve been watching Pete for 15 years get the best out of people, so I hope I attained a little bit of his expertise in allowing people to explore and express themselves, but keep it in the realm of what you want out of the piece.”
As we watched the film, there were several moments that caught us by surprise and made us laugh out loud. Most of these moments centered around the newb souls which 22 recruits to her team as they carry out 22’s humorous demands. We dove into how Kevin and the team centered on those gags.
“Some of the gags were written slightly different, but we were always trying to find the right balance of adult and kid-friendly humor or cynical and optimism. That was the challenge of finding the sweet spot of not compromising the humor of the cynicism, but not being too cynical.”
THE MUSIC & VOCAL ACTING
We were amazed hearing Kevin talk about the versatility of using some of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ scores (which were composed for Soul) in a different way to make the short feel original.
“The way they (Trent and Atticus) compose, there are so many layers to their music, it’s unbelievable. When you start emphasizing or pulling down different tracks you can really change the original composition from there.”
Tina Fey is back voicing 22 with all-new lines of dialogue in her quick-witted tone and we inquired how the recording sessions worked among the social-distancing restrictions. “We were all at home, and fortunately, her husband has a little in-house recording studio.” We were amazed at how fantastic Tina’s recording quality was — it sounds no different than her dialogue in Soul.
Disney+ Debut Date: April 30, 2021
Directed by: Kevin Nolting
Produced by: Lourdes Alba
Set before the events of Disney and Pixar’s Soul, 22 defies the rules of The Great Before and refuses to go to Earth, enlisting 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.
KEVIN NOLTING, A.C.E., (Editor/Director) joined Pixar Animation Studios in June 2000 as the second editor on the Academy Award®-winning feature film Finding Nemo. He continued his work as the second editor on Cars and contributed some additional editing to the Academy Award-winning feature WALL•E. Nolting served as lead editor on the Academy Award-winning feature, Up, which was awarded best edited animated feature at the 2010 ACE Eddie Awards. Nolting then went on to be the lead editor on Academy Award-winning feature Inside Out, for which he also won the ASIFA Annie Award and the A.C.E. Eddie Award for outstanding editing. He most recently was the lead editor on Disney and Pixar’s feature film Soul, which is now streaming on Disney+. Nolting makes his directorial debut on 22 vs. Earth, which debuts on Disney+ on April 30, 2021. Prior to Pixar, Nolting worked as an assistant editor on a number of live-action feature films including Shanghai Noon, Hope Floats, The Insider, City Hall, and Over the Top. Between the years of 1986 and 2000, he worked on roughly one live-action film per year. Nolting was born and raised in Hawthorne, Calif., and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in aesthetics/creative writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He and his wife have two daughters and reside in the Bay Area.