The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 looks to have thrown another curveball to the film industry today as Pixar announced that Soul will release exclusively on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+ on December 25, 2020.
Soul was originally slated to be released in theaters on June 19, 2020, but was eventually moved to November 20, 2020, to “buy more time” and see what would happen with COVID-19. With looming uncertainty and a backlog of films continuing to shuffle positions, the ultimate decision to release the film on December 25, 2020, was made.
Although a theatrical experience is the most spectacular way to experience a Pixar film’s high level of detail and emotional moments, we understand the decision which was chosen. We can now all look forward to a new holiday gift — now, we just need to be able to find the time to watch the film on such a packed day.
It should be noted that the film will not be released as part of Disney+’s “Premiere Access” which was first tested with live-action Mulan‘s release on the platform about a month ago. Premiere Access is a way to be able to view the film approximately 30 days prior to the general release on Disney+ for a one-time $30 charge — in the case of Soul everyone will be able to enjoy the film on the first day.
The official press release from Disney and Pixar is below.
BURBANK, Calif. (October 8, 2020) — The Walt Disney Company announced today that “Soul,” the all-new original feature from Pixar Animation Studios, will debut exclusively on Disney+ on December 25, 2020. In international markets where Disney+ isn’t currently or soon to be available, “Soul” will be released theatrically, with dates to be announced.
“We are thrilled to share Pixar’s spectacular and moving ‘Soul’ with audiences direct to Disney+ in December,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “A new original Pixar film is always a special occasion, and this truly heartwarming and humorous story about human connection and finding one’s place in the world will be a treat for families to enjoy together this holiday season.”
“Soul” comes from visionary filmmaker Pete Docter, the Academy Award®-winning director behind “Inside Out” and “Up,” and co-director/writer Kemp Powers, playwright and screenwriter of “One Night in Miami.” It stars the voice talents of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Angela Bassett and Daveed Diggs and features original jazz music by globally renowned musician Jon Batiste and a score composed by Oscar® winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Social Network”).
“The world can be an exhausting and frustrating place – but it’s also full of unexpected joys, even in seemingly mundane things,” said Docter, director of “Soul” and Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios. “ ‘Soul’ investigates what’s really important in our lives, a question we’re all asking these days. I hope it will bring some humor and fun to people at a time when everyone can surely use that.”
Over the last six months, marketplace conditions created by the ongoing pandemic, while difficult in so many ways, have also provided an opportunity for innovation in approaches to content distribution. With over 60 million subscribers within the first year of launch, the Disney+ platform is an ideal destination for families and fans to enjoy a marquee Pixar film in their own homes like never before.
Previously scheduled for theatrical release on November 20, 2020, “Soul” was named an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year along with multiple upcoming festivals including the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival this Sunday.
What is your take on the December 25, 2020 release date and what are your thoughts with the film being streamed exclusively on Disney+? Leave a comment below, or chat about it with other fans in the Pixar Post Forum thread all about today’s news.