The pandemic has been incredibly tough for the film industry. Almost all theaters across the country shut down for months because it was not safe for strangers to be around each other while indoors, and films that were supposed to have massive premieres were either pushed back or canceled altogether. However, the pandemic did lead to an absolutely massive jump in streaming service subscriptions — especially for Disney. Disney even introduced Premier Access to Disney+, where Guests would pay $30 to see the latest movie from the comfort of their own home.
While theaters are now back open and fans are seeing their favorites on the big screen, one production is still struggling to get its films into theaters. Pixar has been releasing a number of wonderful and popular films since the pandemic hit, but none of them have had a theatrical release. The last Pixar film to be in theaters was Onward which was in theaters for just a few weeks before the pandemic hit. Since then, Soul and Luca have come out but went straight to Disney+.
And now, Disney is revealing that yet another Pixar film will be going straight to Disney+ and not even with Premier Access. Turning Red will be available to all Disney+ subscribers beginning on March 11. Disney explained their decision in a press release and said:
Today, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution announced that Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” will premiere exclusively in homes worldwide on Disney+ on Friday, March 11.
“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’,” said Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “Given the delayed box office recovery, particularly for family films, flexibility remains at the core of our distribution decisions as we prioritize delivering the unparalleled content of The Walt Disney Company to audiences around the world.”
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.
Lately, Disney has been releasing its films with a limited theatrical run — typically 45 days — and then moving them to Disney+, but Turning Red was supposed to experience what would be considered a “normal” theatrical release.
The decision to skip theaters for another Pixar film has reportedly been incredibly demoralizing for the teams that work so hard on these great films. Matthew Belloni, who runs a film and television industry reporting site called Puck, reported that Pixar employees were upset that their films aren’t even being perceived as good enough to be released with Premier Access, and Skyler Schuler responded that complaints about the issue have been voiced.
People are forgetting some Pixar staff are upset and have voiced their concerns and rightfully so. Look at Raya and Encanto, one received a Premier Access release with a theatrical run, the other a 30-day theatrical run then Disney+. The last 3 Pixar films get neither option.
People are forgetting some Pixar staff are upset and have voiced their concerns and rightfully so. Look at Raya and Encanto, one received a Premier Access release with a theatrical run, the other a 30-day theatrical run then Disney+. The last 3 Pixar films get neither option. https://t.co/mpuG75x5Bn
— Skyler Shuler (@SkylerShuler) January 7, 2022
Turning Red will premiere on Disney+ on March 11 and tells the story of Mei Lee — a 13-year-old-girl who turns into a giant, fluffy red panda when her emotions get the best of her, and if you know teenagers, it happens a lot. To make matters worse, Mei’s overprotective mother is never far away from her.
Do you think Disney should release Turning Red in theaters? Or at least give it Premier Access?