In addition to skipping theaters, Disney’s decision not to give Soul the Premier Access treatment is noteworthy. There are mixed reports to how well Mulan did with a $29.99 price tag, and Soul being made available to all Disney+ subscribers could signal that Disney wasn’t happy with the return. New Pixar movies are traditionally big deals – even if Onward disappointed at the box office earlier this year (and before the pandemic) – so a family-friendly animated film could’ve done big business over the holidays. Instead, Disney must be banking on Soul’s release to drive up subscriber numbers, which already topped 60 million worldwide.
Disney has now confirmed that Pixar’s Soul will be released on Disney+ on December 25, 2020. The film will be released in theaters in international markets where Disney+ is not available. Disney’s press release has no mention of Soul being a Premier Access offering, meaning there might not be an upcharge to watch the newest Pixar title over the holiday season. Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the following about the move:
We are thrilled to share Pixar’s spectacular and moving ‘Soul’ with audiences direct to Disney+ in December. A new original Pixar film is always a special occasion, and this truly heartwarming and humorous story about human connection and finding one’s place in the world will be a treat for families to enjoy together this holiday season.
With Soul, season 2 of The Mandalorian, and WandaVision scheduled to debut now on Disney+ in the next few months, the streaming service will finally begin to offer the amount of high-quality original content that subscribers have been waiting for