Finally: Disney to give cinema releases to Pixar’s Soul, Luca and Turning Red

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The three Pixar films that went straight to Disney+ (Soul, Luca and Turning Red) are now – finally – getting cinema releases in 2024.

Many words have been written – on this site as well as many others – as to just what’s robbed Pixar of some of its magic. For a good decade or so, Pixar was the gold standard of American animation, with daring films that managed to capture audiences globally too.

Yet when Disney switched its attention to streaming, and that mixed with the onset of the pandemic, Pixar became fodder for the Disney+ service instead. So much so that three films on the trot – Soul, Luca and Turning Red – all but bypassed cinemas, to instead debut on streaming.

Then, when Pixar did return to cinemas with Lightyear? Well, the results were ‘not as hoped’, with a commercial and critical response at the lower end.

Disney has clearly been doing some head-scratched as to just what to do to re-establish Pixar as the force it once was. And, with assorted strikes leaving gaps in the 2024 release schedule, it’s opted to finally do right by Soul, Luca and Turning Red.

Notwithstanding the fact that the three films continue to be present on Disney+, the studio is releasing one of them a month on the big screen, starting in January.

This has so far only been announced in the US, but it seems likely we’ll be getting the movies on UK cinema screens too.

It’s a nice gesture certainly, and I’d imagine the respective filmmakers would appreciate it. Moreover, the hope is that it’s a signal of intent, of a commitment to theatrical releases for Pixar movies as a given going forward.

With Inside Out 2 arriving in the summer, and definitely getting a cinema release, all of this feels like a very pleasant step in the right direction. Whether it’s too little too late remains to be seen…

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