Why Pixar’s ‘Soul’ Is Skipping Movie Theaters for a Disney+ Christmas Debut

This story is filled with music and now, it’s coming to Disney+. Here’s what we know about the release of the Disney and Pixar animated film, Soul, and why it’s going straight to Disney’s streaming service instead of theaters.

‘Soul’ premieres on Disney+ during December 2020

After months of waiting and several teaser trailers, Disney+ subscribers will be able to watch Pixar’s latest animated film, featuring Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey. Soul tells the story of one musician, teacher, and mentor. 

After he falls down a pothole, this character wakes up in a strange blue-green state. How can he be a soul if he already had a life that he enjoyed? Together with Joe Gardner, fans will go on an adventure to discover what makes a person who they are. 

“We are thrilled to share Pixar’s spectacular and moving Soul with audiences direct to Disney+ in December,” The Walt Disney Company chief executive officer Bob Chapek 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.”

Director Pete Docter of 'Soul' took part today in the Walt Disney Studios presentation
Director Pete Docter of ‘Soul’ took part today in the Walt Disney Studios presentation | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

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‘Soul’ was originally scheduled to be released in June 2020

This animated film was originally scheduled for a June 2020 premiere. However, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Disney postponed this release date.

Now, it’s set to premiere on Disney’s streaming platform in December 2020. Fans are still waiting for the premiere of Black Widow, Marvel’s original story of the former Russian spy.

This movie, like Soul, was originally scheduled to be released in June 2020, with that release date being postponed due to the pandemic.

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‘Soul’ isn’t the only Disney and Pixar movie that skipped its theatrical debut

This wouldn’t be the first Disney movie that has since skipped its theatrical premiere. Although the live-action adaptation of Mulan was originally scheduled to premiere in March 2020, it was postponed due to social distancing and safety restrictions. 

As a result, Disney created their “Premier Acess” for Disney+. For an extra fee, subscribers could watch Mulan anytime on any device. The response to this added fee, however, was somewhat mixed, with some saying they’re already paying monthly for the subscription service. 

Unlike Mulan, the Disney and Pixar movie which already enjoyed a few days in theaters, Onward, released digitally and physically in March 2020. A few days later, it was available to all Disney+ subscribers. 

Some movies released in 2019 made their way to Disney+ ahead of schedule, as well. That includes the live recording of Hamilton, Frozen 2, and the last movie of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker.

Soul is available for streaming exclusively on Disney+ starting on Dec. 25, 2020.