Disney scrubs Pixar Soul theater release, switches to streaming plan

Soul, an animated Pixar movie that was set to hit theaters in November, will instead debut at a later date on the Disney Plus streaming service. This is the latest example of a movie that has been bumped from the theatrical release schedule in favor of a digital premiere due to the pandemic, which forced a major change in how the movie was produced.

Pixar's Soul is a movie about a middle school band teacher named Joe who is passionate about jazz and living an unhappy life. As the name of the movie indicates, Joe goes through a series of unusual events that teach him 'what it means to have a soul.' The movie was directed by Pete Docter.

As with many movies this year, Soul was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, though perhaps in a more severe way than many other titles. Production on the animated movie hadn't wrapped up before quarantines started and social distancing was implemented, meaning the movie had to be finished with everyone working remotely — such an unusual task that it will be detailed in a future documentary, according to co-director Kemp Powers.

The same social distancing issue that impacted production will also result in a big change to how Pixar fans will watch the movie — Disney has revealed that Soul will not premiere in theaters in November as originally scheduled, but will instead make a digital debut on the Disney Plus streaming service in all markets where the platform is available.

According to Variety, the movie will premiere on Disney Plus on December 25, though it'll still have an unspecified theatrical launch in countries where the streaming service isn't available. Fortunately, Disney doesn't plan to charge extra for this movie like it did with the live-action Mulan premiere, meaning the entire family can watch the animated film essentially for $6.99 total.