Amidst Continued Box Office Struggles, Disney Announces Theatrical Releases For Pixar’s ‘Soul’, ‘Turning Red’, And ‘Luca’

Joe (Jamie Foxx) attempts to buy some time for 22 (Tina Fey) in Soul (2020), Disney/Pixar / Sun Yee (N/A) helps Mei Lee (Rosalie Chiang) embrace her Red Panda form in Turning Red (2020), Disney/Pixar / Luca (Jacob Tremblay) dreams of riding a Vespa in Luca (2021), Disney/Pixar
Joe (Jamie Foxx) attempts to buy some time for 22 (Tina Fey) in Soul (2020), Disney/Pixar / Sun Yee (N/A) helps Mei Lee (Rosalie Chiang) embrace her Red Panda form in Turning Red (2020), Disney/Pixar / Luca (Jacob Tremblay) dreams of riding a Vespa in Luca (2021), Disney/Pixar

In a truly curious move that strongly reads as a desperate move for the flailing entertainment conglomerate to genearte just some sort of box office revenue, Disney has announced that Pixar’s previously-released trio of Disney Plus exclusive films – Soul, Luca, and Turning Red – will soon be receiving proper theatrical runs.

Luca (Jacob Tremblay) discovers he can turn into a human in Luca (2021), Disney/Pixar
Luca (Jacob Tremblay) discovers he can turn into a human in Luca (2021), Disney/Pixar

As announced by the House of Mouse on December 5th, these “three feature films from Disney and Pixar will hit the big screen nationwide for the first time ever in 2024” as part of a “special engagement theatrical runs, which invite moviegoers to experience three Pixar films the way they were meant to be seen ahead of the studio‚Äôs June 2024 theatrical release of Inside Out 2.”

22 (Tina Fey) refuses to accept Joe (Jamie Foxx) as her mentor in Soul (2020), Disney/Pixar
22 (Tina Fey) refuses to accept Joe (Jamie Foxx) as her mentor in Soul (2020), Disney/Pixar

In keeping in line with Pixar’s previous theatrical releases, all three films will also debut accompanied by one of the studio’s signature short films.

For Soul and Turning Red, these shorts will be Burrow and Kitbull respectively, both of which had previously been released as part of Pixar’s SparkShorts series, the former at the same time as the respective feature films it’s now set to precede in theaters.

However, rather than likewise using its theatrical premiere to provide wider exposure to any of their other SparkShort productions – available options of which include the animated shorts Purl, Smash and Grab, Float, Wind, Loop, Out, Twenty Something, or Nona – Pixar will instead re-air their 2000 classic For the Birds, which originally aired before 2001’s Monster’s Inc.

A Mole makes the acquaintance of his new neighbor in Burrow (2020), Disney/Pixar
A Mole makes the acquaintance of his new neighbor in Burrow (2020), Disney/Pixar

Unfortunately for Disney, while this move, as noted above, is ostensibly meant to help the company bounce back from their recent string of box office implosions, in reality it stands more to serve as yet another negative ding against their business practices.

Given the fact that that all three of the films set for this “special engagement” are not new releases, have not yet received the tag of ‘culturally significant’, and have all been available to stream for Disney Plus subscribers for upwards of two years, it’s unlikely that the House of Mouse will see the explosive returns seen by such ‘theatrical re-releases’ as Top Gun: Maverick, Star Wars – Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, or the first of James Cameron’s Avatar films.

As such, this leaves the Pixar Triple Re-Release to face one of two outcomes: Either the event receives a relatively moderate amount of success, thus blowing apart Disney’s ongoing defense that their theatrical releases are failing because people are waiting for films to release on streaming, or it fails miserably and they add another three misses to their record books and suffer the further reputational damage that will inevitably follow.

Mei Lee (Rosalie Chiang) faces off with a kaiju-sized Ming (Sandra Oh) in Turning Red (2022), Disney
Mei Lee (Rosalie Chiang) faces off with a kaiju-sized Ming (Sandra Oh) in Turning Red (2022), Disney

Ultimately, whether or not Disney can weather three potential Morbius‘ remains to be seen.

Per Disney, tickets for all three films are set to go on sale on January 2nd, 2024, with Soul subsequently grooving onto theaters on January 12th, Turning Red escaping from Canada on February 9th, and Luca ultimately rounding out the limited run event with a dive date of March 22nd.

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