With heightened concern over Covid-19 variants, Disney has announced its upcoming Pixar movie Turning Red will be foregoing a theatrical release. Instead, the animated film will be released straight to streaming on Disney+ on March 11 and will be included with a basic subscription.
This isn’t the first time Disney has opted for a streaming-only release sans the Premiere Access paywall. We’ve seen this before with Soul in 2020 and Luca in 2021, both of which were massive hits for the streamer in terms of viewership. Luca is consistently trending on Disney+ as one of the most-watched titles.
“Disney+ subscribers around the world enthusiastically embraced Pixar’s Academy Award–winning Soul and the critically-acclaimed Luca when they premiered exclusively on the service and we look forward to bringing them Pixar’s next incredible feature film Turning Red,” Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, said in a statement. “Given the delayed box office recovery, particularly for family films, flexibility remains at the core of our distribution decisions.”
Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda! Directed by Academy Award® winner Domee Shi (Pixar short “Bao”) and produced by Lindsey Collins “Turning Red” releases on March 11, 2022.
Although having Turning Red premiere only in homes is disappointing for Pixar animators who prefer to have their work seen on the big screen with no distractions, it’s good news for viewers who aren’t comfortable going to theaters in the wake of rising positive Covid cases. Plus, viewers can watch it free with a Disney+ subscription, so who can argue that.