The Walt Disney Company announced that the upcoming Pixar movie Soul will debut exclusively on Disney+ on December 25th, 2020. As for international markets where Disney+ isn’t currently or soon to be available, the movie will be released theatrically, with dates to be announced in the near future. Soul was originally set to open in theaters in June, but was later pushed back to November, due to the public health crisis. Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company, had this to say about the streaming decision.
“We are thrilled to share Pixar’s spectacular and moving ‘Soul’ with audiences direct to Disney+ in December. 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.”
Unlike the recent release of Mulan, which cost subscribers an additional $30, Soul will stream without a premium fee. The movie comes to us from visionary filmmaker Pete Docter, the Academy Award winning director behind Inside Out and Up, along with co-director/writer Kemp Powers, playwright and screenwriter of One Night in Miami. It stars the voice talents of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Angela Bassett and Daveed Diggs and features original jazz music by globally renowned musician Jon Batiste and a score composed by Oscar winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network).
Soul director Pete Docter spoke out about the timing of the release. “The world can be an exhausting and frustrating place – but it’s also full of unexpected joys, even in seemingly mundane things.” He went on to say, “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.” In addition to being the movie’s director, Docter is also the Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios. Soul was named an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year along with multiple upcoming festivals including the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival, which is set to happen this Sunday.
Soul introduces Joe Gardner (voice of 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 (voice of 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.
Over the last six months, the marketplace conditions created by the ongoing public health crisis have made things extremely difficult on the entertainment industry. However, while it has been difficult in so many ways, it has also provided an opportunity for innovation in approaches to content distribution from the big Hollywood studios. With over 60 million subscribers within the first year of launch, the Disney+ platform is an ideal destination for families and fans to enjoy the premiere of a Pixar movie in their own homes like never before. Additionally, many families will be home to watch the movie on Christmas Day together. Disney+ was the first to make the Soul announcement.