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Five Post-Release Facts About Soul

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Have you seen Soul yet? If you haven’t, go watch it, because this article assumes you know the whole story and is full of spoilers. Director Pete Docter sat down for an interview with the website Collider recently, and revealed a lot of behind-the-scenes tidbits. Here are the five we found the most interesting….

SOUL IS DOCTER’S FIRST WIDESCREEN PIXAR MOVIE
This might be a bit confusing since aren’t all movies technically widescreen? What Docter means is the wider aspect ratio that forces TVs (and some movie screens) to display black bars at the top and bottom. Projected on a properly sized screen, though, this ratio fills the viewer’s frame of vision.

Docter used the more traditional 16:9 widescreen format for Up and Inside Out, because he felt a wider ratio might “get in the way of the comedy and the intimacy.” We’re not sure we agree, but in the case of Soul, Docter felt it was “time.”

DAVEED DIGGS ORIGINALLY PLAYED A DIFFERENT CHARACTER
When Soul was first announced, Daveed Diggs was in its cast list as Joe’s “antagonistic neighbor.” But later Diggs joined the film as a consultant, and the story started changing. All the scenes between Joe and his neighbor disappeared, and a new scene in a barbershop grew into the missing space. When he needed a voice for the barber, Docter couldn’t help but cast Diggs.

BLACK PANTHER DIRECTOR RYAN COOGLER CONTRIBUTED TO THE MOVIE
Coogler was involved in the early stages of production and gave Docter notes on some of the material. Docter did not want to get specific, but did mention it was Coogler’s idea for the souls in the You Seminar to all be speaking different languages.

DOCTER WANTED TO CONDENSE ALL THE STAFF’S INSIDE JOKES INTO ONE SCENE
Pixar films often contain a lot of easter eggs and inside jokes relevant to the staff, and with this one, Docter tried to put his foot down. Speaking of a scene in the You Seminar called the Hall Of Everything, Docter recalls “I remember I was like, I am so sick of all the inside jokes. Let’s just put them all in this one shot and be done with it. Everything, all the inside jokes in this one-shot.”

The ruling didn’t stick…they eventually found other places for in-jokes that they couldn’t resist. On the wall of 22’s past mentors, Joe Ranft is mentioned.

IT WAS UP IN THE AIR FOR A WHILE WHETHER JOE WOULD LIVE OR DIE
Did it surprise you as much as us that Joe got to live at the end of this movie? This is Pixar we’re talking about — we were gearing ourselves for that weepy ending. But there WERE endings where Joe stayed in the afterlife. “We tried lots of versions with both. I mean, we did a lot of versions of Joe dying at the end and staying dead, in all kinds of different ways.”