Pixar's latest feature film Soul debuted on Disney+ on Friday taking viewers on a journey with some of life's biggest questions, like what makes us who we are and what is life really about. To do this, however, the film had to take viewers on a journey to someplace never really seen on screen before, the Great Before, a place where souls come from as well as the Great Beyond, the astral plane, and everything in between. With the film having such a wide range of locations and experiences as part of Joe Gardner's story, there were some elements that didn't make it to the finished project and Soul story artist Aphton Corbin says there were a few "crazy" ones that they had to select from.
Speaking with ComicBook.com before Soul's release, Corbin described some elements of both the astral plane and the Great Before that unfortunately just didn't make it to the final film -- including something that would have made animal lovers very happy.
"We had this dream anteater thing that would like roam the astral plane and would like suck up people's dreams or something like that at one point, Corbin said. "There's so many crazy things. We had this section where we had all the animal souls, like where they came from, for a second there. Just a bunch of crazy ideas that we had to just boil down and pick a few."
While it would have been interesting to see a Great Before for animal souls, that wasn't the only element of the film's story that changed. Story supervisor Kristine Lester explained that, at one point, the story was set up as a heist film as Joe's (Jamie Foxx) plan to get back to his life.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. All our movies take very different paths and you'd be shocked at what you saw when stuff was early in development to where it ended up being. Sometimes they're very, very, very different movies, and yeah, the first sketch of the movie, it was more of a heist movie that Joe was trying to go back to his life basically through, I can't remember, doing a bunch of heist-y stuff," Lester explained to Collider. "And I remember we came to the end of that version of the movie and it just felt like, again, like I talked about, doing honor to the subject matter and the thing that it was exploring, which is what gives life meaning, what is our purpose in life? The questions that Pete was answering. And it felt like that version of the movie wasn't doing that justice, and so we had to take out... Okay, it's not Ocean's 11. What can we do to dig deeper into the thing that people really wanted to talk about?"
Soul follows Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks, and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what's great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life's most important questions
Soul is now streaming on Disney+.