Several Pixar employees spoke out anonymously about their frustration regarding the release of Luca and Soul on Disney+ with no additional charge.
Pixar employees are speaking out about their frustration regarding the release of Luca and Soul on Disney+. As CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger purchased Pixar Animation from Steve Jobs in 2006 for $7.4 billion. Even with inflation, this is more than Disney paid for either Marvel or Star Wars, which was about $4 billion each. Therefore, Pixar is clearly one of the corporation’s most highly coveted pillars.
Released on March 6, 2020, Onward was the last Pixar film to be shown in theaters before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since theaters were shut down across the country a few weeks after its release, Pixar released Onward on Disney+ a month later and decided to hold off on future releases such as Soul. After delaying its release twice, Pixar finally decided to put Soul out on Disney+ just in time for Christmas Day. Though Luca was slated for a theatrical release on June 18th, Pixar decided it would follow the same model as Soul and be released on Disney+ for no additional charge.
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Now, several Pixar employees are speaking to Insider on the condition of anonymity regarding their frustration over the decision to release Luca and Soul exclusively on Disney+. While upcoming releases on the streaming service such as Marvel’s Black Widow require subscribers to pay an additional fee, this is not the case for Pixar releases, which one staffer took issue with: “Luca doesn’t even have a premium price next to it. Does it make it lesser? It’s hard to grasp.” Another Pixar staffer emphasized the importance of the theater-going experience, saying its films “are crafted for the big screen.”
Soul director Pete Docter was also disappointed his film did not receive a theatrical release, but these feelings were quickly curbed by the film’s success on Disney+. While Pixar staffers are frustrated their work is not being shown in theaters, it is not yet apparent that Pixar’s release strategy is hurting the films financially or critically, as Soul was an awards season darling this year taking home the Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA for Best Animated Feature Film.
Pixar’s decision is also justified by extenuating circumstances such as COVID, but it does beg the question why certain titles are not being released through Disney+ Premier Access, which requires subscribers to pay an additional $30 fee. This clearly suggests a lack of confidence in Soul and Luca from Pixar, which its employees certainly have the right to be frustrated about.
- Luca (2021)Release date: Jun 18, 2021
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