Pixar Employees Are "Extremely Disappointed" By 'Turning Red' Going To Disney+

While all the headlines about films heading to streaming and losing theatrical releases seem to focus on the live-action blockbusters of the last two years, Disney has been sending Pixar films to Disney+ since 2020. And with Omicron being a very real threat, the studio announced the third Pixar release in a row, “Turning Red,” will be heading to Disney+ instead of theaters. That means the last Pixar film to hit theaters was 2020’s “Onward.” As you might expect, this is a bit of a blow to Pixar employees who make these features with the full intention of them being seen on the big screen. 

According to a new report from Insider, the outlet spoke to numerous staffers at Pixar to gauge their reactions to the news about “Turning Red” losing its theatrical release and heading straight to Disney+. And while everyone seemed to be disappointed, there is an understanding that this was the right move considering the COVID situation. 

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“It’s safe to say that we’re all feeling extremely disappointed,” one Pixar staffer said. “Until today, we all thought ‘Turning Red’ would be our return to the big screen, and everyone at the studio was so excited about it being this film in particular. It was quite a blow.”

Another Pixar employee said the situation “sucks, but I get it.” 

It doesn’t seem as if people at the animation studio are mad at Disney for shifting the film to streaming instead of a theatrical release. However, they’re mainly disappointed that it’s been two years since Pixar has had a theatrical release, which was 2020’s “Onward,” which was only in theaters a short time before COVID shut down everything. 

“With Omicron infections so high, I haven’t heard anyone say the decision to pivot to streaming is wrong,” said another employee.

While Disney isn’t very revealing with statistics about viewership of films like “Soul” and “Luca,” it’s clear the studio is happy with the performance, considering its moving “Turning Red” to Disney+, as well.

It’s just a matter of trying to figure out which Pixar film will be the first to come back to theaters next? All signs point to “Lightyear” getting the theatrical release. Unlike “Soul,” “Luca,” and “Turning Red,” the next Pixar film is a spinoff of the insanely popular “Toy Story” franchise and is poised to be one of the biggest films of 2022. It would be incredibly shocking to see Disney make that film into a streaming feature. Plus, let’s just have a bit of optimism that “Lightyear” will arrive at a time when people aren’t scared of going to theaters again. 

“Turning Red” is expected to arrive on Disney+ on March 11.