A lot of tentpole films with blockbuster potential have either been postponed to a later date or released on a digital platform due to the pandemic. Disney is no stranger to releasing films on its streaming service, having done quite a few in the past already. Now they will be releasing Pixar’s ‘Soul‘ exclusively on Disney+ on December 25, 2020.
Originally, ‘Soul’ was scheduled to hit theaters in November. Before that, it was dated for a July release. But then the pandemic hit, and it continues to be a global crisis. While the film will be widely available to those who have a Disney+ subscription, the news is bittersweet for representation on the big screen. The animated film, directed by Pete Docter, would have featured a majority of Black actors, led by Jamie Foxx, and featured original Jazz music from Jon Batiste, with a score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (‘The Social Network,’ ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’).
“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.”
Unlike ‘Mulan,’ ‘Soul’ will be available to anyone who has a Disney+ account without any additional cost. “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.”
Docter’s previous works have explored all sorts of existential concepts from life and death in ‘Up,’ to the voices inside our head in ‘Inside Out.’ But ‘Soul’ goes deeper as it explores how a person gets their soul and asks tough questions about the human existence.
Here’s the official plot synopsis for ‘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”).
Other voice talents include Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Angela Bassett, and Daveed Diggs.
‘Soul’ makes its debut exclusively on Disney+ on December 25, 2020.