- Actor-Shared Background: Jamie Foxx, like Joe, is a classically trained pianist, although Foxx didn't perform any of the music in the film.
- All-Star Cast: The cast includes Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Daveed Diggs, Angela Bassett, and Phylicia Rashad.
- The Cast Showoff: Daveed Diggs gets a rap solo in the credits.
- Colbert Bump: Plenty of people have been introduced to AJR because "Overture" was featured in the teaser.
- Creator's Oddball:
- The first Pixar film in which their "good luck charm" John Ratzenberger isn't credited, nor is his cameo particularly apparent, unlike past films where even his most minor of roles would play up the presence of his distinct voice for humor (apparently, he is in there, it's just not apparent where).
- This is also Pete Docter's first directorial efforts since the Randy Newman-backed Monsters, Inc. not to be scored by Michael Giacchino, instead working with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, with Jon Batiste providing all the jazz piano music. Since the film was centered around music and needed something to animate Joe's piano playing to, Docter needed more immediate musical feedback from the composers rather than waiting until the picture was locked before handing it off to a composer to score it with a full orchestra.
- Irony as She Is Cast: Hugely successful rapper and musician Daveed Diggs plays a character who not only never sings or does anything musical, but actively mocks Joe's musical ambitions as a dead end. To balance this out, Diggs also performs the song by the rap group from Joe's youth.
- Market-Based Title: Released in Japan with the title Soulful World.
- Missing Trailer Scene: As is typical for Pixar movies, the teaser trailer depicts a scene that doesn't appear in the movie, where 22 does a cowboy dance.
- Playing Against Type: For composer Trent Reznor, the etherial, ambient music he created for the Great Beyond and Great Before scenes is a far cry from the angry Industrial Metal he creates as Nine Inch Nails or the edgier techno music that he and Atticus Ross have composed for video games and David Fincher movies.
- Release Date Change: The film was originally planned to be ready for the summer of 2021, but finished ahead of schedule and was moved up to June 19, 2020... and then it was pushed forward to November 20th due to the COVID-19 Pandemic shutting down movie theaters in most countries. When it became clear that American movie theaters would not operate to full capacity in time for it to get a proper theatrical release, it was rescheduled yet again for a direct-to-digital Christmas release on Disney+.
- What Could Have Been: Quite a few things changed as development went along, as shown here.
- Originally, the film was just about a soul who didn't want to go to Earth and took place entirely in the Great Before. Joe was initially created just to give the soul character a reason to eventually go to Earth before he ended up becoming the main character.
- Joe was originally a white man who was first interested in animation, then one who wanted to be a rock star. He didn't become a Black man with a love for jazz until Kemp Powers came on as co-writer and co-director.
- The film had two different endings planned:
- Joe accepted his fate and went to the great beyond. This was scrapped because everyone felt that it was robbing him of the chance to live life with a different viewpoint.
- Joe toured with Dorothea while teaching students privately on the side, and eventually recognized one of them as 22. This was agreed to be too confusing as per the film's internal logic, and, in Kemp Powers' own words, "there was something innately not satisfying about it."
- Word of God: According to co-director Kemp Powers, Mr. Mittens came back to life because "the cat had nine lives". A sequence depicting Mr. Mittens returning to his body was storyboarded, but was discarded.
- Write What You Know: Joe's story about working to achieve a singular goal, then wondering what to do with the rest of his life once he had, was inspired by Pete Docter going through a similar existential crisis after the massive financial and critical success of Inside Out made him wonder if there was anything left for him to accomplish as a filmmaker.
- Written by Cast Member: Tina Fey helped Pete Docter, Kemp Powers, and co-writer Mike Jones write 22's lines.
Trivia / Soul