The global pandemic has left cinemas worldwide either closed or severely limited in how many people can go due to social distancing.  This has resulted in film studios like Disney changing their release plans for many movies, with Disney using one of three options:

  • Delay it  (Jungle Cruise, Eternals, Free Guy)
  • Disney+ Premier Access (Raya and the Last Dragon, Mulan, Cruella) Black Widow)
  • Or send it straight to Disney+ (Soul, Luca, The One And Only Ivan, Artemis Fowl)

While many of us have been happy getting the latest Pixar movies like “Soul” or “Luca” on Disney+ at no additional cost, there are many cast members at Pixar, who aren’t as impressed with Disney shifting two of their films to Disney+, especially since the last film Disney released “Raya and the Last Dragon” was released in cinemas and at a premium price.   One cast member told Insider:

“‘Luca’ doesn’t even have a premium price next to it.  Does it make it lesser? It’s hard to grasp.”

Another member of staff said:

“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.”

There are many other Pixar staff members unhappy with the movie, including Soul’s director Pete Docter, though because the movie did so well on Disney+ and has won multiple awards, including two Oscars, this might not be the case as one Pixar cast member said Disney “was over the moon about the numbers,” but other staffers expressed concern on Pixar success no longer being quantified by box office grosses. As a worker put it, “If these movies don’t have $1 billion runs, does that hurt the company? You wonder that.”  A veteran animator at the studio added

“Everyone is worried about keeping their jobs if our films aren’t seen by Disney as financially successful.”

While box office numbers do generally indicate how good a movie has performed, that’s not the only metric. Being the number one film available on all streaming platforms is also now a strong indication, especially with keeping subscribers happy and, more importantly, subscribed.

With “Luca” being shifted to Disney+ for a June 18th release, this marks the third film in a row that Pixar hasn’t released under normal circumstances.  As “Onward” launched just weeks before the pandemic and had its theatrical legs cut off when cinemas starting closing, forcing Disney to release the film months earlier than planned onto Disney+

One animator added that nothing much has changed:

“There will not be a change on how we make the films. That’s what’s important; the piece of art. That’s what matters.”

Do you think Pixar staff should be upset their films have been shifted to Disney+?

Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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