Soul Fans Notice Jack Kirby Easter Egg

In Pixar's latest film, Soul, viewers are taken on a journey through not only the biggest [...]

In Pixar's latest film, Soul, viewers are taken on a journey through not only the biggest questions of life, but to a rather unique setting, The Great Before, the part of the universe where souls come from before their lives on Earth. With the film's big questions about what makes us who we are and where our "spark" comes from, it should come as no surprise that the film would contain nods and Easter Eggs from those whose own "spark" impacted the world and it turns out comic book legend Jack Kirby is among them.

Warning: Spoilers for Pixar's Soul below.

In Soul, after Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) gets his big break as a jazz musician he unfortunately falls in a manhole and his injuries are fatal. While his body is getting medical attention on Earth, his soul is headed to the Great Beyond, though desperate to get back to his life, Joe manages to escape the conveyor belt taking him to the afterlife and ends up in the Great Before instead. There he encounters 22 (Tina Fey), a soul who hasn't found her spark and thus hasn't earned her "Earth pass" to have a life, despite the best efforts of countless mentors over time.

In Soul, mentors are the souls of the departed who help new souls find their sparks before they head off to their lives and while they're usually successful, 22 is a hard case. Inside of 22's residence in the Great Beyond is a wall with the name stickers of all of the various historical figures who have served as her mentors. Names of numerous historical figures appear on that wall and one of the most prominent is that of Jack Kirby.

That Kirby would be up there on the wall with other mentors responsible for inspiring new souls shouldn't be much of a surprise as the artist has inspired many people through his work. Kirby is one of those iconic names in comics, responsible for the co-creation of some of comics most well-known characters including Captain America, Black Panther, the Fantastic Four, and the Incredible Hulk on the Marvel side and, on the DC side, the New Gods including Darkseid, Mister Miracle, Big Barda and more. Kirby's influence continues in comics to this day, long after his death in 1994 at the age of 76.

And while not all of the creative mentors and inspirations for those involved in the film appear on 22's wall, the film's stars tapped into them for their performances. Angela Bassett, who plays the jazz musician Dorothea in the film, told that she took much of her inspiration for the character from real-life jazz legends Dorothy Donegan and Betty Carter.

"I remember going to jazz clubs here in L.A. and in New York and seeing women who were ahead of their own combo, Dorothy Donegan -- amazing on the piano -- or seeing Betty Carter work those young ones, she always had like young guys in her band and she would take them to task right there, you know, just like drive them, drive them to perfection right there and that could be part of the show, but it was part of her ethic, you know?" Bassett told "And so, I was just remembering that and so impressed by that to meet these incredible, dynamic, accomplished, accomplished women who are doing it at a time and a place here that was difficult, but they did it in spite of it. You know, that's life. You know, this journey of life in spite of difficult, in spite of."

Soul is now streaming on Disney+.