Disney Pixar Staff Members Allegedly Upset Over “Demoralizing” Decision

in Pixar

pixar characters and logo

Credit: Pixar Studios

Many Disney Pixar staff members are reportedly upset over a decision made by Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution that some are viewing as “demoralizing.”

Disney announced earlier this week that Pixar’s newest film, Turning Red (2022), will not be going to theaters and will debut exclusively on Disney+ on Friday, March 11. This will make three Pixar films in a row that will not have been released with a theatrical run.

turning red
Credit: Pixar

Per our previous reporting, the movie was billed by Disney as the first “normal” wide-releasing theatrical film. It was hoped to be a more normal movie-making time, yet the pandemic issues have plagued the entertainment and hospitality industries.

Reporter Skyler Shuler posted on Twitter after the decision that many Pixar staff were upset and voiced their concerns about the decision.

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.

This reply was in response to Matthew Belloni’s (@MattBelloni) Tweet:

Just talked to a Pixar friend who says Luca and Soul moves to Disney+ have been demoralizing for employees: “Forget theaters, we’re not even good enough for an upcharge?”

As noted in the tweet, Disney Animated Studios had access to theatrical runs with premier access on Disney+. Pixar, on the other hand, will not have access to either.

Disney’s official release on the film premiering exclusively in homes on Disney+ reads:

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.”

turning red pixar
Credit: Pixar Studios

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.

The last three films produced by Pixar, all of which debuted for free on Disney+, were Luca (2021), Soul (2020), and Onward (2020). Pixar Studios is known for producing many popular and iconic films, including Toy Story (1995), Monsters Inc. (2001), Cars (2006), Ratatouille (2007), Up (2009), The Incredibles (2004), A Bug’s Life (1998), WALL-E (2008), and many more.

pixar characters and logo
Credit: Pixar Studios

Disney’s press release discussing the Disney+ release reads as follows,

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.

What do you think about the decision to move Turning Red to a Disney+ release? Let us know in the comments. 

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