A Lightly Annotated List of Number 22’s Mentors in Pixar’s Soul

One of the best aspects of Pixar’s Soul is a running gag about all the famous people who have tried to mentor the recalcitrant Number 22, voiced by Tina Fey. We meet a few of these figures via flashback (and Den of Geek has a great educational post about these on-screen mentors), but what caught my attention was 22’s Wall of Fame. Number 22 has a massive collection of name badges, presumably of everyone who has ever tried to guide them, and with some creative screengrabs I was able to read quite a few of them.

Caveat: I, to my shame, only read English, enough French and German to order food in a restaurant, and enough Irish to know which consonants not to pronounce. (Usually.) Many of 22’s mentors are named in Arabic, Cyrillic, Korean, Hebrew, Greek, and a few other alphabet systems that I’m not familiar with, so I wasn’t able to write them up in this list. But! It is my great hope that some of you out there will be able to pause the film and name some of those mentors in the comments.

Here we go:

Disney and Pixar’s Soul (Screenshot: Disney+)

  • Abraham Lincoln
    [n.b.: Deserved better than the penny.]
  • Albert Einstein
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Anna Kowalczyk
  • Archimedes
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Ashkii Nez
  • Babe Ruth
  • Balogh Tamas
  • Blake Abimbola
  • Catherine The Great
  • Confucius
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Elizabeth I
  • Emine Demir
  • George Orwell
  • Grace O’Malley
    [n.b.: In Irish it’s Gráinne Ní Mháille! She was a bit of a pirate queen, leader of a prominent family in Western Ireland, and faced off with Elizabeth I over land ownership a few times.]
  • Babatunde Olatunji
    [n.b.: I think there’s a sticker for the celebrated Nigerian musician, but I couldn’t see it clearly.]
  • Harriet Tubman
    [n.b.: Deserves far better than the $20 bill, though I agree with Soul’s Abraham Lincoln that Andrew Jackson shouldn’t be on there, either.]
  • Harvey Milk
    [n.b: LGBTQ leader, the first openly gay elected official in the history of California, who championed a successful anti-discrimination bill before he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated in 1978.]
  • Herman Jakobs
  • Jack Kirby
    [n.b.: The KING, and my personal favorite puncher of Nazis.]
  • Jiří Svoboda
    [n.b.: Maybe the Czech javelin thrower who competed in the 1924 Summer Olympics?]
  • Joan of Arc
  • Jovan Zivkovik
  • Joe Grant
    [n.b.: An early Disney animator, Grant designed the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, co-wrote Fantasia and Dumbo, and came back to animation decades later work on movies including Aladdin, The Lion King, Fantasia 2000, Monsters, Inc., and Up. Also, the titular Lady of Lady and the Tramp was said to be based on his Springer Spaniel, also named Lady.]
  • Joe Ranft
    [n.b.: Ranft was Pixar’s head of story from 1991 until 2006, he worked on The Brave Little Toaster, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and a ton of other films, and also co-starred in several Pixar movies, with my favorite of his performances being Heimlich the caterpillar in A Bug’s Life.]
  • Johannes Gutenberg
    [n.b.: did NOT invent the printing press, because Chinese Buddhists did a first run of printing in the 900s, which was then refined by Korean Buddhists including a civil servant named Choe Yun-ui, who seems to have locked moveable type down in about 1250 C.E.—but Gutenberg did revolutionize printing in Europe, which is also great.]
  • John Wilson
  • Johnny Cash
    [n.b.: When I read this I heard him saying “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash”, and my heart grew several sizes.]
  • Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
    [n.b.: An extraordinary philosopher, poet, and musician, who treated her nunnery as a salon in the 1670s and ‘80s until a Bishop cracked down on her. Go read her stuff.]
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Lies Van Wossen
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Marek Nowak
  • Margaret M(ead)
    [n.b.: I think this one is anthropologist Margaret Mead, I never got a clear enough look.]
  • María Izquierdo
    [n.b.: A painter of the Los Contemporáneos modern art school, and the first Mexican woman to have her artwork shown in the U.S.!]
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Marie Černá
  • Marie Curie
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Maya Tsosie
  • Mehmet Çelik
  • Mike Oznowicz
    [n.b.: Frank Oz’s dad (also a puppeteer) and the person Monsters Inc.’s Mike Wazowski is named for!]
  • Milan Stojanovic
  • Mother Teresa
  • Muhammed Ali
  • Nellie Bly
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Nguyễn Đức Bình
  • Nguyễn Thị Lan Anh
  • Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Pablo Picasso
    [n.b.: ugh THIS guy.]
  • Pawet Jankowski
  • Petar Janko
  • Plato
  • Prince Rogers Nelson
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Thomas Edison
    [n.b.: JUSTICE FOR TOPSY!]
  • István Tóth
    [n.b.: This could be either the Hungarian boxer who competed in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo (the subject of a fascinating film, Tokyo Olympiad) OR the Hungarian footballer who was a member of the squad at the 1912 Summer Olympics!]
  • Ts’ai Lun
    [n.b.: The inventor of modern paper!]
  • Vict Anh
  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • William Taylor

 

That’s everyone I found! Let me know if you spotted anyone else, or translated any tags that are beyond my abilities!

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