Culture

Pixar’s Soul to debut on Disney+ Christmas Day, Wonder Woman 1984 mulls Xmas PVOD drop

Upcoming Pixar animation Soul will debut on Disney+ December 25, 2020. Much mooted, the shift from theatrical distribution follows Mulan’s streaming bow. However, unlike Mulan, there will be no additional Premium Access charge levied on the title.

In international markets where Disney Plus isn’t currently available, Soul will be released theatrically, when and where possible.

“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.” 

Soul is the latest film from Pete Docter, the Academy Award-winning director behind Inside Out and Up, and co-director/writer Kemp Powers, playwright and screenwriter of One Night in Miami

Soul is the latest film from Pete Docter, the Academy Award-winning director behind Inside Out and Up

A shoe-in for an Oscar win in 2021?

Soul 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 (Watchmen, The Social Network).

Soul tells the story of a music teacher (voiced by Foxx) who aspired to become a jazz performer, but is separated from his soul in an accident, before his dreams come true.   

“The world can be an exhausting and frustrating place – but it’s also full of unexpected joys, even in seemingly mundane things,” said 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.”

Disney+ cites a ‘opportunity for innovation in approaches to content distribution,’ caused by the pandemic. The streaming service has amassed over 60 million subscribers within the first year of launch.  

Previously scheduled for theatrical release on November 20, 2020, 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 this Sunday.

Will Wonder Woman 1984 move to a PVOD debut this Christmas?

There is speculation that long delayed superhero sequel Wonder Woman 1984 will also drop onto streaming services as a PVOD title this holiday season, perhaps with a simultaneous limited theatrical release. This strategy was adopted for Bill & Ted Face the Music, but as yet not been tried with a AAA blockbuster.

Conjecture heightened when Warner failed to take advantage of the theatrical slot vacated Jurassic Park: Dominion, when that movie postponed a year, to summer 2022. 

Although inevitable, Soul’s shift to streaming exacerbates the content drought facing theatres globally. It follows Cineworld’s decision to temporarily shutter all 536 locations in the US and UK.  

Both Dune and No Time to Die have vacated release spots for new berths in 2021.  

About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice, Ideal Home, The Luxe Review, Channel News and the i newspaper. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI, and contributor to industry trade magazine ERT. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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