Pixar's Luca Vacating Theatrical Release for Disney+ Debut

Yet another Pixar feature film is moving away from theaters in favor of a debut on the Disney+ streaming service. Last year's Soul, the current front-runner for Best Animated Feature at this year's Academy Awards, vacated its theatrical release for a premiere on Disney+, free to all subscribers of the service. Now Disney has announced that Pixar's next feature film, Luca, will be getting the same treatment.

On Tuesday afternoon, Disney made a slew of announcements regarding the upcoming release schedule for its various studio projects, shifting several release dates and adding some Disney+ debuts. Movies like Black Widow and Cruella are going to be getting a day-and-date release on the Disney+ Premier Access platform, meaning that the films will be in theaters but are also going to be available on Disney+ for a $30 purchase. Luca, meanwhile, is simply going to the streaming service on June 18th.

Like Soul, Luca will be skipping out on a theatrical release entirely, which is surely going to disappoint plenty of movie lovers and Pixar fans. Onward was the last Pixar film to hit theaters and it only had a couple of weeks on the big screen before theater chains shuttered entirely due to COVID-19.

"Today's announcement reflects our focus on providing consumer choice and serving the evolving preferences of audiences. By leveraging a flexible distribution strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is beginning to recover from the global pandemic, we will continue to employ the best options to deliver The Walt Disney Company's unparalleled storytelling to fans and families around the world," said Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

Luca tells the story of a young boy and his friend who appear completely human and normal when they're out of the water, but they are really mysterious sea creatures. Their lives begin to change when they befriend a young girl on the surface. The film is directed by Enrico Casarosa with a script from Jesse Andrews and Mike Jones. The all-star vocal ensemble includes Jacob Tremblay, Maya Rudolph, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman, Marco Barricelli, and Jim Gaffigan.

Are you excited to see Luca on Disney+ this summer? Are you disappointed to hear it will be skipping theaters? Let us know in the comments!

Luca is set to debut on June 18th. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.

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