Following multiple postponements, Disney Pixar's Soul will skip a cinema release and instead debut exclusively on Disney+. As Variety reports, the animated film was initially set to arrive on the big screen back in June and was later rescheduled for a November release. However, with continued instability at the box office, a decision was made to digitally release Soul on Disney's streaming service just in time for Christmas.
The animated family flick will arrive on Disney+ on Friday, Dec. 25, and will be available to all subscribers at no extra cost. “We are thrilled to share Pixar’s spectacular and moving Soul with audiences direct to Disney+ in December,” said Bob Chapek, chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company. “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.”
As per Deadline, news of Soul's digital release follows a continuing trend of major Disney+ debuts amid the pandemic, including the likes of Mulan, Artemis Fowl and Hamilton — and comes shortly after Cineworld announced plans to close all of its UK theatres, as reported by Metro.
Commenting on the film's December arrival, co-director Pete Docter revealed his hopes that Soul will "bring some humour and fun" during a time when people need it most. “The world can be an exhausting and frustrating place – but it’s also full of unexpected joys, even in seemingly mundane things,” Docter said in a statement, adding: “Soul investigates what’s really important in our lives, a question we’re all asking these days. I hope it will bring some humour and fun to people at a time when everyone can surely use that.”
Docter and One Night in Miami's Kemp Powers co-directed Disney Pixar's latest animated offering, which follows the story of a middle-school music teacher (Jamie Foxx) who has long dreamed of becoming a jazz performer. However, before getting his big break, an untimely accident causes his soul to be separated from his body — and he is tasked with returning his soul back to his body on Earth before it's too late.
Soul will be available to stream on Disney+ on Friday, Dec. 25.