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Pixar's Turning Red Skipping Cinemas For Disney Plus This March

Just as it seemed we were getting back to something approaching business as usual, that pesky Omicron has thrown a spanner in the works. As rates soar, we're already seeing 2022 events cancelling in-person events months in advance and studios are getting cold feet. The newest consequence of this is that Disney have decided to scrap the planned cinema release of Pixar's upcoming Turning Red in favour of a release directly to Disney Plus.

The original US release date of March 11 will now be the day that the film will launch on Disney Plus worldwide for all subscribers at no extra cost. In markets that Disney Plus is not yet available, the film will still release theatrically, with premiere dates to be announced later.

Domee Shii's feature debut will introduce us to 13-year-old Mei Lee, who has to cope not only with the usual growing pains of adolescence but also the family curse that causes her to turn into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited.

How the situation evolves will determine if this summer's Lightyear will also follow suit. It would seem unlikely that it would be Disney policy that all Pixar films skip cinemas from now on, as it would be leaving money on the table. Studios will also be loathe to delay any releases further than they already have. It's a tricky situation for distributors, and it is arguably pretty irresponsible to release anything as a theatrical exclusive right now.

Turning Red will now be the third Pixar feature in a row to forgo a cinema release, and Pixar staff are understandably feeling a little disgruntled. Especially considering that Disney's own 2021 releases Encanto and Raya And The Last Dragon both got theatrical releases in addition to Disney Plus, as did Locksmith Animation's Ron's Gone Wrong. It's also not great optics to see it happen to Pixar's first film to be directed solo by a woman (and a woman of colour). It's also a shame not to have the option to watch it on the big screen (although there may still be some screenings somewhere if you're lucky).