Disney’s latest film Soul has been a hit, but fans are confused about one character’s ending. So, what happened to 22 in Soul?
Let’s break down the plot first. Soul tells the story of a music teacher, Joe, who falls down a manhole after finally getting a chance to play piano for Dorothea Williams. He ends up in The Great Before, a place where new souls get ready for life on Earth.
Essentially, Joe passed away when he fell, but before going to The Great Beyond, he has to be a mentor to a soul named 22. 22 is proving a little difficult, and even broke Gandhi and Abraham Licoln, who were also set the task of mentoring her once.
Joe and 22 make a deal: If Joe can help 22 find her spark, she will give him her Earth pass so he can return instead of her.
What happens at the end?
Joe returns to The Great Before, and offers to give up his Earth pass to 22, so she can experience life. The powers-that-be in The Great Before notice his sacrifice, and allow him and 22 to both return to Earth.
Just before he returns to Earth, a soul counsellor asks how he will spend his life. Joe simply says: “I’m not sure. But I o know I’m going to live every minute of it.”
The screen cuts to black, and the Soul logo and credits appear on the screen.
But, what happened to 22 at the end of Soul?
To put it simply, we don’t find out—and that’s the whole point!
When speaking to USA Today, co-writer and co-director Kemp Powers said that any time they considered showing what happened to 22 and Joe, “there was something innately not satisfying about it.”
“We know that audiences often want to be told exactly what happened to the character. They want to know that the character made the ‘right’ decision. But in the case of Joe, we didn’t want to put a choice on him. We wanted to say that regardless of what he ended up doing, whether it was going back to teaching, playing in a band or some hybrid of both, he just appreciated life better.”
However, there did exist an alternative ending in which we see what happened to 22. In that ending, 22 appears as one of Joe’s music students.
“There was one where Joe was touring with Dorothea and teaching students privately on the side, and 22 was a new student and he recognised that it was her.
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