Disney Pixar’s latest animated film, Soul, is set to premiere on Disney+ on December 25th at no additional cost. The film is about a Black jazz musician who dies just before his big break and his soul must find a way back to his body before it’s too late. Originally slated for a June release (aahh those were simpler times), the film was first pushed to November and today Disney announced the decision to release the film on its Disney+ streaming platform.
Soul, which stars Jamie Foxx as the voice of Joe Gardner, is Disney Pixar’s first film centering a Black character. The cast also includes Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, Questlove and Angela Bassett. On one hand, it’s a huge disappointment that a high profile animated film with a majority Black cast won’t get the big screen treatment it deserves. On the other, Disney+ has an already massive subscriber base of over 60 million subscribers, and during a time when everyone is starved for both original content and feel good stories, Soul may very well break all kinds of streaming records. It’s also great that the film will be made available at no extra charge so that more families can share the experience over the holidays.
I also think this is another good market test opportunity for Disney, as the studio continues to survey the appetite of the streaming and VOD market. Between Soul being released as part of the regular Disney+ subscription, and Mulan’s premiere pass release, Disney should get critical market data that few other studios have been able to garner.
I had a chance to watch a few minutes of Soul during the D23 Expo last year (again, simpler times) and really enjoyed the creative and whimsical tone of the film. Between the timing and the superstar cast, Disney Pixar is likely counting on Soul dominating social media during the holiday season.
Check out all the details below. Soul premieres on Disney+ on December 25th!
DISNEY & PIXAR’S ‘SOUL’ TO MAKE EXCLUSIVE HOLIDAY DEBUT ON DISNEY+
All-New Original Animated Pixar Film Set to Stream on December 25
BURBANK, Calif. (October 8, 2020) — The Walt Disney Company announced today that “Soul,” the all-new original feature from Pixar Animation Studios, will debut exclusively on Disney+ on December 25, 2020. In international markets where Disney+ isn’t currently or soon to be available, “Soul” will be released theatrically, with dates to be announced.
“We are thrilled to share Pixar’s spectacular and moving ‘Soul’ with audiences direct to Disney+ in December,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “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.”
“Soul” comes from visionary filmmaker Pete Docter, the Academy Award®-winning director behind “Inside Out” and “Up,” and co-director/writer Kemp Powers, playwright and screenwriter of “One Night in Miami.” It stars the voice talents of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Angela Bassett and Daveed Diggs and features original jazz music by globally renowned musician Jon Batiste and a score composed by Oscar® winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Social Network”).
“The world can be an exhausting and frustrating place – but it’s also full of unexpected joys, even in seemingly mundane things,” said Docter, director of “Soul” and Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios. “ ‘Soul’ investigates what’s really important in our lives, a question we’re all asking these days. I hope it will bring some humor and fun to people at a time when everyone can surely use that.”
Over the last six months, marketplace conditions created by the ongoing pandemic, while difficult in so many ways, have also provided an opportunity for innovation in approaches to content distribution. With over 60 million subscribers within the first year of launch, the Disney+ platform is an ideal destination for families and fans to enjoy a marquee Pixar film in their own homes like never before.
Previously scheduled for theatrical release on November 20, 2020, “Soul” was named an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year along with multiple upcoming festivals including the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival this Sunday.
About Disney & Pixar’s “Soul”
What is it that makes you…YOU? Pixar Animation Studios’ “Soul” introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) – a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions. “Soul” is Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Inside Out,” “Up”), co-directed by Kemp Powers (“One Night in Miami”) and produced by Academy Award nominee Dana Murray, p.g.a. (Pixar short “Lou”).
Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. As part of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment, Disney+ is available on most internet-connected devices and offers commercial-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series, and short-form content. Alongside unprecedented access to Disney’s incredible library of film and television entertainment, the service is also the exclusive streaming home for the latest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Disney+ is available as part of a bundle offer that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu (ad-supported), and ESPN+. Visit DisneyPlus.com to subscribe and/or learn more about the service.
Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture. He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.