Pixar considers a few different endings for ‘Soul’

Destroyer warning! This post contains key spoilers for Disney and Pixar’s new movie Soul, which is now available on Disney +.


Soul follows Joe Gardner, a high school band teacher who nearly dies after landing the concert that could change his career. Joe escapes from the afterlife and ends up in the Great Before, where he accidentally mentors soul 22. After a series of accidents (including body swaps), both Joe and 22 learn what makes one so wonderful on earth. Joe gives up his chance to come back to life so 22 can finally be born.

Luckily, the Jerrys of the Great Before takes notice and gives Joe a second chance. When Jerry asks how he’s going to spend his life, Joe says, ‘I’m not sure. But I do know that I’m going to live from it every minute. The film ends with Joe walking out of his house and taking a deep breath.

Although this is the end they decided on, co-writers and directors Pete Docter and Kemp Powers went through several possible endings, including some versions where Joe did die.

Powers told Collider: ‘[W]I did a lot of versions of Joe who died in the end and stayed dead, in all sorts of different ways. Some of them were much more emotional. Some of them were funny. We did a lot of different endings. ā€

“We felt he learned enough to appreciate the things he did not initially appreciate,” Docter told USA Today. And so we felt, ‘Oh, it can work. ‘It felt very noble that he sacrificed his chance to go back, and rather handed it over to 22. But as it turns out, so much of the film is about it that he first learned, ‘Hey, wait a minute. My barber has a whole life of which I knew nothing. I did not know that I could be honest and honest with my mother. ‘It felt like it was robbing him not to allow him to go back. ā€

Other endings showed what happened to 22, who are not seen again after their soul descended to earth. But every time they devised an epilogue for 22, they changed their minds. Powers said: “There was one where Joe was on tour with Dorothea teaching students on the side, and 22 was a new student and he realized it was her.”

The filmmakers decided ‘there was something unsatisfactory’ and so they decided to give the life of 22 a mystery.

soul trailer

One series to credits they considered would have shown what with Mr. Mittens happened, the cat whose body Joe owns for most of the movie.

Eventually, they decided to show the future of the characters contrary to the message of the film, which goes into life for the small moments and the sometimes unsatisfactory nature of achieving a dream.

“We know that audiences often want to tell exactly what happened to the character,” Powers told USA Today. ‘They want to know that the character made the’ right ‘decision. But in the case of Joe, we did not want to make a choice on him. We wanted to say that he just appreciated life better, no matter what he ended up doing, whether it’s teaching, playing in an orchestra, or making a hybrid of both. ā€

Soul streaming for no extra fee on Disney + and it’s chock full of Pixar’s usual charm. Also read our posts about the Easter eggs from the movie.