When the COVID-19 pandemic struck last year, it threw a major wrench into movie studios’ production plans and release schedules. The Walt Disney Company and their associated brands — Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar Animation Studios — were not immune to the problems that plagued the entertainment industry throughout the pandemic.
As a result, Disney had to delay or alter the releases of numerous films. With the company’s major restructure — and new focus on direct-to-consumer content on the Disney+ streaming content — streaming debuts have become a common tool for Disney during the pandemic era.
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek has frequently espoused that Disney is focused on “flexibility” as consumers’ needs and desires change during these challenging times. This flexible mindset includes releasing movies for no additional fee on Disney+ and releasing titles to the $29.99 Premier Access tier.
Walt Disney Studios films, such as Mulan (2020) and Raya and the Last Dragon (2021), have been released to Premier Access — Raya also had a simultaneous theatrical release, as will Marvel Studios’ Black Widow (2021), which is set to drop on Premier Access and in movie theaters on July 9.
Pixar movies, however, have only been available for free on Disney+ — both Academy Award-winning Soul (2020) and Pixar’s Luca (2021) have been made available to Disney+ subscribers at no additional charge.
Reportedly, this has caused strife in Emeryville, as the Pixar Studios animation team has apparently become disgruntled by the lack of theatrical exposure for their movies. Having created iconic characters like Buzz Lightyear, Carl Fredrickson, Nemo, Lightning McQueen, and more, this frustration is understandable.
Now, it seems that Pixar Studios is about to return to a normal theatrical release schedule!
Per an Insider report:
Pixar is gearing up to release its next movie in theaters.
The beloved animation studio from Disney is planning to go back to a “normal” wide release with its 2022 movie “Turning Red,” several sources familiar with the movie’s production, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, exclusively told Insider.
“The studio’s hope is we go back to normal with ‘Turning Red,'” said one source, who noted that the safety of theatergoers is the biggest concern.
Turning Red is a 3D cartoon coming-of-age movie that is currently set for a March 11, 2022 release. Disney fans can currently catch the entire Pixar film library — including Finding Nemo (2003), Up (2009), Toy Story (1995), and Monster’s Inc. (2001) — on Disney+.
Are you excited about Pixar Animation Studios movies seemingly returning to theaters in the spring?