A new rumor claims that, like Scarlet Johansson with Black Widow before them, Pixar is furious over Disney and Bob Chapek’s decision to release their upcoming film, Turning Red, directly to Disney Plus rather than theatrically as originally planned.
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A coming-of-age story centered around Meilin “Mei” Lee, a young Chinese-Canadian girl who finds herself turning into a giant red panda anytime she finds herself overwhelmed with emotion, Turning Red was originally slated for a theatrical release on March 11th, 2022.
Then, on January 7th, Disney abruptly announced that though it would keep its initial release date, Pixar’s latest film would instead be released directly to Disney Plus — save for international markets where the company’s streaming service has not yet been established, where it will still make its debut in theaters.
This decision reportedly did not sit well with the studio, as just a few days later, a number of anonymous Pixar staff reportedly voiced their displeasure to Variety.
“It’s safe to say that we’re all feeling extremely disappointed,” said one such staffer. “Until today, we all thought ‘Turning Red’ would be our return to the big screen, and everyone at the studio was so excited about it being this film in particular. It was quite a blow.”
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Another staffer chalked it up to the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19, stating “With omicron infections so high, I haven’t heard anyone say the decision to pivot to streaming is wrong.”
However, according to a new report from Small Screen, Pixar team members are more outraged over this decision than the anonymous staffers initially let on.
“Pixar is furious,” a supposed insider allegedly told the outlet. “They’re not impressed with Disney, the execs and Bob Chapek.”
“They wanted Turning Red to be released theatrically, not on Disney Plus,” they continued. “This has made the whole company upset and basically at war with Disney and Bob Chapek.”
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The alleged insider also noted that they had heard rumblings that Pixar “wants out of Disney.”
“They have been having internal strategy and crisis control meetings at Pixar as they see this as a huge problem,” they added. “And it’s just getting worse.”
A second purported insider allegedly provided Small Screen with some background on the situation, telling them, “Pixar is not a direct to video studio. Their movies deserve to be in cinemas and people at Pixar are not pleased about the direct to Disney Plus release of their recent films.”
“The decision to release Turning Red direct to Disney Plus was a strategic decision based on rising Omicron cases in the United States and across Europe,” they explained. “Disney also looked at box office takings of other similar movies (Sing 2), and decided that the returns for a Turning Red theatrical release just weren’t viable.”
As noted by the second insider, the situation surrounding Turning Red is not the first time in recent years that Disney has shifted the premiere destination of a Pixar project from theaters to Disney Plus.
Starting in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the last three Pixar films — Onward, Soul, and Luca — all received similar changes to their release plans.
What do you make of Pixar’s rumored anger towards Disney and Chapek? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!
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