Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” will bypass theaters and make its debut exclusively as a streaming premiere on Disney+.
The film from director Domee Shi (“Bao”) will still keep its premiere date of March 11, but will debut exclusively on streaming.
It’s the latest film to either move off its theatrical spot or pivot to streaming in the wake of the spread of omicron, after “Morbius” shifted its January release to later in April. It also follows in the footsteps of other Pixar movies as streaming exclusives after “Soul” and “Luca” both premiered on Disney+ and bypassed theaters.
“Turning Red” will still be released theatrically internationally where Disney+ isn’t available.
“Disney+ subscribers around the world enthusiastically embraced Pixar’s Academy Award-winning ‘Soul’ and the critically-acclaimed ‘Luca’ when they premiered exclusively on the service and we look forward to bringing them Pixar’s next incredible feature film ‘Turning Red’,” said Kareem Daniel, chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “Given the delayed box office recovery, particularly for family films, flexibility remains at the core of our distribution decisions as we prioritize delivering the unparalleled content of The Walt Disney Company to audiences around the world.”
The next Pixar movie is “Lightyear,” which is a new story about the character Buzz Lightyear that inspired the iconic toy from “Toy Story,” and the film now features Chris Evans as the voice of Buzz. That film is currently slated for a prime summer theatrical release on June 17. And the next Disney theatrical release is 20th Century’s “Death on the Nile,” which will now open Feb. 11, 2022 after being delayed for months. Disney’s last several movies for 2021 had all received theatrical exclusive windows, including the animated “Encanto.”
But both “Soul” and “Luca” have put up huge numbers on Disney+. Shortly after “Encanto” premiered on Disney+ on Christmas Eve, one of its original songs hit #1 on Spotify.
“Turning Red” is the story of Mei Lee, a confident, dorky 13-year-old who discovers that when she gets too excited, she accidentally “poofs” into a giant red panda. The film features the voice talent of Rosalie Chiang and Sandra Oh.