In Pixar’s latest film, Soul not only takes the viewer on a journey through life’s greatest problems, but also to a very special place – the Great Beginnings, that part of the universe where souls come from before they live on earth. Given the big questions about what makes us who we are and where our spark comes from, it’s not surprising that the film contains hints and Easter eggs of those whose own spark has influenced the world, and comic book legend Jack Kirby happens to be one of them.
Disclaimer : Spoilers for the soul of Pixar downstairs.
In Soul, after Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) got his big break as a jazz musician, he unfortunately falls into the sewers and his injuries are fatal. While his body on earth receives medical care, his soul is sent to the afterlife. Although Joe desperately wants to return to his life, he manages to bypass the treadmill that leads him to the afterlife and instead ends up in the afterlife. There he meets 22 (Tina Fei), a soul who did not find her spark and therefore did not bring her earthly passport to life, despite the efforts of countless mentors over the years.
In Soul Mentors, it is the souls of the dead who help new souls find their spark before they leave, and although they usually succeed, 22 is a difficult number. Inside the residence of 22, in the Grande Rivière, there is a wall with stickers with the names of all the different historical figures who have served as mentors. Many historical figures have their names engraved on this wall, and one of the most important is Jack Kirby.
In the background of SOUL. pic.twitter.com/y2t7aIn7hV from Pixar.
– Chris Arrant (@chrisarrant) 27 December 2020
The fact that Kirby sits on the wall with other mentors and inspires new souls doesn’t have to come as a big surprise, because the artist has inspired many with his work. Kirby is one of those iconic names that some of the most famous comic strip characters have created, including Captain America, Black Panther, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk on the Wonder side and, on the DC side, the New Gods, including Darkseid, Mr Kirby and Mr Kirby. Wonder, Big Bard and more. Kirby’s influence continues to this day in comics, long after his death in 1994 at the age of 76.
And if all the creative mentors and inspirations of the people involved in the film don’t end up on Wall 22, the stars of the film will draw inspiration from it in their performances. Angela Bassett, who plays the role of jazz musician Dorothea in the film, said she was inspired by the jazz legends Dorothy Donegan and Betty Carter to create the character.
I remember going to jazz clubs here in Los Angeles and New York and seeing women who were ahead of their own combos, Dorothy Donegan – unbelievable on the piano – or how Betty Carter worked with these kids, she always had these kids in the band, and she took them to work, you know, pushed them, pushed them to perfection, and maybe that was part of the show, but that was part of her ethos, you know? said Bassett. So I remember that and I was so impressed to meet these incredible, dynamic, talented, gifted women who did it at a time and in a place where it was hard, but who did it anyway. You know, that’s life. You know, it’s the journey of a lifetime, despite the challenges.
Soul is now available for streaming on Disney+.