Originally slated for a Nov. 20 theatrical release in time for the Thanksgiving holiday week, Disney decided to make the debut of “Soul” a Christmas present instead. The latest Disney/Pixar feature film will stream exclusively on the Disney+ service starting Dec. 25 in the United States.
The news went out on social media, including on the Disney+ official Twitter account.
— Disney+ (@DisneyPlus) October 8, 2020
“We are thrilled to share Pixar’s spectacular and moving ‘Soul’ with audiences direct to Disney+ in December,” Bob Chapek, chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, said in a press release. “A new original Pixar film is always a special occasion, and this truly heartwarming and humorous story about human connection and finding one’s place in the world will be a treat for families to enjoy together this holiday season.”
This is the third major Disney film to go straight to the company’s streaming service in 2020. The sci-fi fantasy film “Artemis Fowl” debuted on Disney+ back in May, when COVID-19 shut down movie theaters across the country. Then, in September, the live-action remake of Disney’s “Mulan” also skipped movie theaters and went straight to Disney+. However, “Mulan” was a premium release, which meant Disney+ subscribers had to pay $30 to watch the first-run feature.
“Soul” will not follow in the footsteps of “Mulan,” though. Disney+ subscribers in the U.S. will have free access on Dec. 25 to the movie, which stars Jamie Foxx as a middle school band teacher who dreams of one day becoming a jazz musician.
“Soul” also features the voice talents of Angela Bassett, Daveed Diggs, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.
Pete Docter, the movie’s director and chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios, said the message of “Soul” is timely for a world looking for joy during difficult times.
“The world can be an exhausting and frustrating place — but it’s also full of unexpected joys, even in seemingly mundane things,” he said in the press release. “‘Soul’ investigates what’s really important in our lives, a question we’re all asking these days. I hope it will bring some humor and fun to people at a time when everyone can surely use that.”