Pixar Staff Disappointed Turning Red Will Go Straight To Disney Plus

Disney announced Friday that Pixar's Turning Red would be skipping its theatrical release in March to premiere exclusively on Disney Plus. The decision was not well-received by some, particularly those who worked on the animated film.

This decision makes Turning Red the third Pixar film to miss theaters, standing alongside Soul and Luca, which were both released exclusively on the Disney Plus. The sudden decision from Disney has elements of pandemic concerns stitched within its fabric, but the most significant motivating factor stems from a desire to increase its subscription numbers on the streaming platform. Soul and Luca both generated substantial growth for the platform, and while box office revenues matter, Disney is equally motivated to see the number of individuals using its platform grow. This decision, however, is not welcomed by those who created Turning Red for the big screen.

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While speaking with Insider, one Pixar staff member stated, "It's safe to say that we're all feeling extremely disappointed. Until today, we all thought 'Turning Red' would be our return to the big screen, and everyone at the studio was so excited about it being this film in particular. It was quite a blow." The decision came as a shock to many within the studio, but it wasn't necessarily unexpected. Coronavirus infection rates are causing many studios to make some last-minute decisions about their theatrical releases. Families are one demographic shying away from theaters due to the new infectious variant, causing a number of children-centered films to find their home on easily accessible streaming platforms. "Sucks, but I get it," stated another staff member, aware that the unpopular decision may have been the right one.

"With Omicron infections so high, I haven't heard anyone say the decision to pivot to streaming is wrong," disclosed another staff member. There is a level of awareness within the studio walls that coronavirus concerns are an obstacle they may not be able to conquer for the time being, but it doesn't diminish the feelings of disappointment across the board. Turning Red was supposed to mark Pixar's return to the box office, but the path towards theaters is currently not meant to be traveled. Staff members expressed the same feelings after the Disney Plus release of Pixar's Soul and Luca, which many found to be demoralizing, especially since the films came to members of the streaming platform for free, with no upcharge. The staff of the beloved animation studio has a right to express their collective displeasure, especially since the pandemic hasn't stopped other Disney films from finding their way into theaters.

Raya and the Last Dragon arrived in theaters and on Disney Plus simultaneously but charged those eager to enjoy the film via streaming a $30 premium fee. Encanto is another Disney project that found its way into theaters, releasing exclusively for 30 days before arriving on the Disney Plus platform. It's not unreasonable to question the treatment of Pixar's films, but it also highlights the continued faith Disney has in the studio. Pixar is known for its generational effect, attracting children to the screen and adults who grew up with the animation's magic. Rather than roll the dice on box office numbers, which may fluctuate due to the pandemic, Disney is choosing the safer route by ensuring everyone can see the film in a safe and accessible manner. As a result, there is a confidence that Turning Red will manifest big numbers for the streaming platform, but it doesn't extinguish the feelings of those who worked to see this film delivered the way Pixar intended it to be seen.

There is hope that Pixar will one day return to the big screen, but for now the studio's admirers can look to Disney Plus for its newest and upcoming content. The ongoing pandemic is driving many recent decisions around some pretty popular films, and one can only maintain optimism that things will improve so audiences can properly experience them.

Turning Red will arrive exclusively on Disney Plus on March 11, 2022.

MORE: A Brief History of Pixar Games

Source: Insider

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Karl Anthony Simpson Jr. (46 Articles Published)

Karl Anthony Simpson Jr. is a Movie/TV News writer for Game Rant and lifelong cinematic fan. In his spare time, he writes his own original screenplays and write reviews for streaming content. Karl graduated with his bachelors degree from Pepperdine University, majoring in Creative Writing and Film Studies. He later obtained his masters degree from Johns Hopkins School of Education in Secondary Education.

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