The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the movie industry over the past few months, as countless blockbusters try to find new ways to reach audiences outside of the traditional movie theater experience. Many movies have found a way to be released digitally -- and it looks like Disney & Pixar's Soul is the latest among them. On Thursday, The Walt Disney Company announced that Soul, their latest original feature with Pixar Animation Studios, will be debuting exclusively on Disney+ instead of in movie theaters. The film will make its debut on the platform on Christmas Day -- December 25th. The film will also be released theatrically in international markets that do not carry Disney+, with a theatrical debut date still to be announced.
“We are thrilled to share Pixar’s spectacular and moving Soul with audiences direct to Disney+ in December,” Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement. “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.”
Soul follows Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks, and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions.
The film is co-directed by Pete Docter (Inside Out, Up) and Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami), and also stars Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Angela Bassett and Daveed Diggs. It features original jazz music by globally renowned musician Jon Batiste, and a score composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network, Watchmen).
“The world can be an exhausting and frustrating place – but it’s also full of unexpected joys, even in seemingly mundane things,” Docter, director of Soul and Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios, added. “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.”
This is the latest major Disney release to find a new home on Disney+, after the company released its filmed version of Hamilton on the platform over the summer, and its live-action Mulan remake earlier this fall. While Mulan was available through an additional paid "Premier Access" tier, it appears that Soul will be included within a standard Disney+ subscription.
What do you think of Soul officially heading to Disney+? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
As mentioned above, Soul is expected to arrive on Disney+ on December 25th. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.
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