'Soul' Skipping Theaters And Headed Directly To Disney+ For Christmas

We all had a feeling this was coming, and now it's official: Disney and Pixar's Soul will be skipping theaters in the U.S. and headed straight to Disney+ on December 25. In international markets where Disney+ isn't currently or soon to be available, Soul will be released theatrically, with dates to be announced. The Pixar pic was originally slated to hit theaters on June 19 before moving to November 20. 

The theatrical release model remains on shaky ground right now due to the coronavirus, and Disney is taking note. Rather than stick with Soul's November 20 theatrical release, the House of Mouse will instead drop the movie on Disney+ on December 25. And it looks like the movie won't be sticking with the premium approach that Disney tried with Mulan, where subscribers still had to pay an additional fee to view the film. Instead, Soul will be available to all Disney+ subscribers without additional cost.

"We are thrilled to share Pixar's spectacular and moving Soul with audiences direct to Disney+ in December," said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. "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."

"The world can be an exhausting and frustrating place – but it's also full of unexpected joys, even in seemingly mundane things," said Pete Docter, director of Soul and Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios. "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."

News of this change also comes with this quote, unattributed to any specific person:

Over the last six months, marketplace conditions created by the ongoing pandemic, while difficult in so many ways, have also provided an opportunity for innovation in approaches to content distribution. With over 60 million subscribers within the first year of launch, the Disney+ platform is an ideal destination for families and fans to enjoy a marquee Pixar film in their own homes like never before.

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."

The cast also includes 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 Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (yes, really).