Disney is removing another film from theaters in favor of its streaming service, this time Pixar’s Soul, according to Variety. The film will now debut on December 25th, but unlike Mulan, it will be available to Disney+ members absent a premium fee.
The film is about a middle school music teacher who finally has a big break to play jazz on stage at a prominent club, only to meet an untimely end. His soul leaves and goes on a journey to try and return to his body.
This year has resulted in chaos for the movie industry: the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that studios have continually delayed their films, hoping that the pandemic will abate so that theaters will safely reopen. Soul was originally scheduled to debut in June 2020, only to be bumped back to November 20th, and now December 25th in the United States. (Variety notes that an international date hasn’t been established.)
The move follows two other Disney films: Onward and Mulan. The pandemic struck right as Onward entered theaters, and as theaters shut down, Disney stuck the film up on Disney+ within weeks. Mulan was originally slated to hit theaters this summer, but was delayed and then released on Disney+ for a premium fee: $30. Disney appears to have abandoned that strategy for Soul, opting instead to drop the film for families to watch over the holiday.