Another Pixar film is skipping the theaters in favor of a Disney Plus premiere as Disney announced Turning Red will debut exclusively on its streaming service starting March 11th. Disney will continue to release the film in markets where Disney Plus is not available.
Turning Red is the latest Pixar film that stars an awkward teenage girl who suddenly transforms into a giant red panda when she experiences strong emotions. The film is being directed by Domee Shi, who also worked on Pixar’s Inside Out and Incredibles 2 and who directed the Pixar short Bao.
Disney Media and Entertainment chairman Kareem Daniel released a statement on the decision, citing the smaller screenings of family films at the box office amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With box office rebound lagging behind, especially for family movies, flexibility remains at the core of our sales decisions,” said Daniel. Daniel also cited the success of previous Pixar films that Disney debuted directly through the service.
Disney began releasing Pixar films on Disney Plus at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when the company made Onward available for streaming less than a month after it opened in theaters. No Pixar movie has seen a theatrical release since then, as 2020’s Soul debuted exclusively on Disney Plus, as did Luca from last year shortly after.
These films were streamed at no additional cost, unlike live-action films like Mulan and Black Widow, which charged subscribers an additional $ 30 for Disney Premier Access.
The visual evolution of Pixars Luca
While Disney seems pleased with the performance of these animated features on Disney Plus, Pixar employees are frustrated with the company’s decisions. Last year, a report came out to describe the disappointment within the animation studio.
“We don’t want to be just a title on Disney Plus,” said a Pixar employee. “These films are made for the big screen. We want you to watch these films without the distraction, without looking at your phone. ”Others feared that if the film didn’t put a premium price tag on Luca, the film would make it appear” less “than Mulan.
Disney Plus is releasing or not, Pixar is still releasing solid family films. You can read our thoughts on their latest endeavors in our reviews of Soul and Luca.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.