Luca: Pixar Employees Reportedly Feel “Demoralized” After Second Straight Movie Skips Theaters for Disney+

For the second-straight year, Pixar's major release is heading straight to streaming. Like Soul [...]

For the second-straight year, Pixar's major release is heading straight to streaming. Like Soul last December, Luca will skip theaters and become a Disney+ Original. The feature is even circumnavigating Disney+'s new Premier Access feature, meaning those who subscribe to the platform won't have to pay a penny more than they already do in order to watch the movie. According to Hollywood insiders, the move is demoralizing to those working at Pixar.

A tweet from former THR editor Matthew Belloni started to gain traction on Monday after the reporter said he had spoken to certain sources within the production house. According to Belloni, these sources say Disney's decision to skip theaters and Premier Access is having a negative effect on the employees.

"Just talked to a Pixar friend who says Luca and Soul moves to Disney+ have bee demoralizing for employees: 'Forget theaters, we're not even good enough for an upcharge?'" Belloni tweeted.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic first began this time last year, studios have been scrambling to release their content in whatever ways possible. When it comes to Disney, the House of Mouse opted to release some of the bigger titles through a premium option on Disney+.

In addition to the monthly subscription fee, Premier Access allows Disney+ subscribers to purchase the digital rights for the features for a premium price. Mulan was the first film to take advantage of the new set-up, charging users a $29.99 fee upon release in September. Fast forward to December, and Walt Disney Animation's Raya and the Last Dragon also went the Premier Access route.

Soul, another December release from the Disney family of companies, didn't get the Premier access treatment and instead, went directly to the free Disney+ library open to any subscribers of the service. Upon its release this summer, Luca will now follow the route of Soul — a fellow Pixar production — instead of that of Raya and the Last Dragon, a decision that appears to be unpopular with those employees at Pixar.

Luca hits Disney+ on June 18th.