Kemp Powers Talks the Joke That Was Too Dark and Obscure for Soul

Sometimes a joke is a little too dark and too obscure for even Pixar, and this is the company that started off Up by cutting your heart out and laughing while you ugly cry. Or maybe not. There are some things that are a little much, and there was one joke, in particular, that was cut from Soul for being too dark and obscure. We have some MINOR SPOILERS for the movie's first act, but it's not anything major. However, if you don't want to know, please don't read beyond this picture of two Jerry's trying to control a bunch of baby souls.

Kemp Powers Talks the Joke That Was Too Dark and Obscure for Soul
Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter, co-directed by Kemp Powers, and produced by Academy Award® nominee Dana Murray, p.g.a., "Soul" will debut exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available) on December 25, 2020. ©2020 Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved.

When Joe decides to run away from the path to The Great Beyond, he throws off the count of how many souls. We had already seen the movie play with historical figures that were failed mentors to 22. When co-director and co-writer Kemp Powers was asked by Entertainment Tonight about other historical figures, they thought about adding to the film. One of those figures turned out to a punchline for the count being off.

Rasputin. There's a line in the film where Terry is like, "Jerry, the count's off," and she's like, "The count hasn't been off in centuries." That was initially meant to be a reference to the last time the count was off, which was Rasputin, who you remember couldn't be killed. It was both a bit too dark, I guess, and a joke that a lot of people didn't get. And I worked hard to get the accidental Rasputin mentor into the film! But it just didn't quite work out.

Honestly, I cannot think of a time that I was sadder that a movie left out a joke. This one probably would have gone over the heads of most people, but the people who did get it would have died laughing. All it would take would be a quick cutaway to Rasputin or even just someone saying the name, and it would have been great. Producer Dana Murray went on to explain that the process of picking which historical figures to show was complicated.

It was really hard, because no matter who we picked, someone would bring some piece of history about that person and be like, "You can't say this person is…" And we're like, "Oh, but it's funny!" And we wanted to make sure we were being diverse with our gender and race, so it was tricky to pick them all.

[SPOILERS] Pixar Toyed With a Much Darker Ending for Soul
Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter, co-directed by Kemp Powers, and produced by Academy Award® nominee Dana Murray, p.g.a., "Soul" will debut exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available) on December 25, 2020. ©2020 Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved.
Seriously, the count was off centuries ago because of Rasputin? Pixar, I can't believe you did the history nerds so dirty. For shame.

A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.

Soul, directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Kemp Powers, stars Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rashad, and John Ratzenberger. It was released on Disney+ on December 25th.

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com
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