October 8, 2020
Soul, the new original feature from Pixar Animation Studios, will debut exclusively on the Disney+ streaming service Dec. 25, the Walt Disney Co. announced on Oct. 8.
The film was previously scheduled for theatrical release Nov. 20.
The studio did not include a premium rental price to see Soul via Disney+. Mulan, another Disney release intended for theaters that went straight to Disney+, required an additional $29.99 payment for Disney+ subscribers.
In international markets where Disney+ isn’t currently or soon to be available, Soul will be released theatrically, with dates to be announced, according to the studio.
“We are thrilled to share Pixar’s spectacular and moving Soul with audiences direct to Disney+ in December,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” Disney stated in the press release. “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.”
Soul comes from 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 features the voice talents of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Angela Bassett and Daveed Diggs, and features original jazz music by Jon Batiste and a score composed by Oscar winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network).
The film follows Joe Gardner (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 (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.
“The world can be an exhausting and frustrating place – but it’s also full of unexpected joys, even in seemingly mundane things,” Docter, who is also chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios, said in a statement. “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.”