It wasn’t that long ago that Pixar was one of the crown jewels of the Disney empire. For 20 years, it was the most respected and most beloved brand in animation, turning out one modern classic after another that appealed to both kids and parents.
But since the pandemic started, Disney has been pushing all of Pixar’s films straight to streaming, even at times when other Disney animated films were getting theatrical releases, or hybrid releases, or only available on Disney+ at a premium price. That’s what happened to the magical Soul and the sweet Luca, and it’s about to happen again to Pixar’s latest film, Turning Red. Disney announced today that the movie will premiere exclusively on Disney+ on March 11.
Previously, the film had been expected to premiere in theaters on that same date. There has been a recent rise in Covid-19 cases thanks to the Omicron variant of late, and that has prompted some movies to shift release dates. But Turning Red is the highest-profile movie so far to skip a 2022 theatrical release entirely.
Here’s the film’s most recent trailer:
And here’s the film’s official synopsis:
Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda!
Pixar’s next film after Turning Red is Lightyear, inspired by the character from the Toy Story franchise. We’ll have to see whether it is the movie that finally returns Pixar to theaters or whether it gets a streaming only release instead. Currently, it’s scheduled for a theatrical debut on June 17.