Last week, Disney announced that Pixar’s “Turning Red” will premiere exclusively in homes worldwide on Disney+ on Friday 11th March 11 2022.
Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, explained in a statement, that:
“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.”
While this decision is great for Disney+ subscribers worldwide, who get to enjoy the film at home, without worrying about the risk of the variant, there has been a bit of a backlash regarding the decision to shift another Pixar film over to Disney+, without a theatrical release.
Disney has already seen “Soul” and “Luca” released on Disney+, though both have been massive successes for Disney+, especially in terms of how many times the films have been watched. Driving subscriptions and keeping existing subscribers is extremely important to Disney.
When “Luca” was announced to be released on Disney+ instead of at cinemas, many Pixar employees spoke about their disappointment that the film they’ve been working on wasn’t going to be seen on the big screen.
“We don’t want to be a title just on Disney Plus. These movies are crafted for the big screen. We want you to watch these movies with no distractions, no looking at your phones.”
However, the frustration was softened because Disney was ecstatic by how well the movie performed on Disney Plus. With Insider being told:
“That’s what was so eye-opening — Disney was over the moon about the numbers”
So when “Turning Red” was revealed to be coming to Disney+, many fans expressed outrage that Pixar employees would once again be upset and demoralised over the latest decision.
A few Pixar employees, who have been kept anonymous, also shared their thoughts with Insider, about the decision and were told that while the announcement was a “shock”, it was understandable.
“It’s safe to say that we’re all feeling extremely disappointed. Until today, we all thought ‘Turning Red’ would be our return to the big screen, and everyone at the studio was so excited about it being this film in particular. It was quite a blow.”
One Pixar staff member said:
“Sucks, but I get it.”
With another Pixar cast member saying:
“With omicron infections so high, I haven’t heard anyone say the decision to pivot to streaming is wrong,”
Dan Rayburn, a streaming media analyst, explained why Disney executives had shifted Pixar films over to Disney+:
“Pixar is targeting a specific demographic and a lot of Disney Plus subscribers are families, so it makes sense if you’re Disney that with Pixar you are going to target that more to your streaming service that has that kind of built-in membership. They are going to do what makes the most money.”
One significant advantage, Disney+ has brought to those working at Pixar, is more opportunities. With programs like Sparkshorts, there is a better chance of getting a project of their own and getting spotted for future projects.
Also, Pixar is making more content for Disney+, with recent shorts like “Dug Days” and the upcoming series “Win Or Lose”, providing more Pixar staff with opportunities.
The “Toy Story” spinoff, “Lightyear”, is due to be released in June and is expected to be released in cinemas, because of the established love for Buzz Lightyear and, hopefully, the pandemic is in a different situation than it is now.
What do you think of Disney shifting “Turning Red” to Disney+