Pixar Staff Reportedly "Disappointed" And "Shocked" That TURNING RED Is Going Straight To Disney+

Multiple anonymous staffers at Pixar have expressed disappointment in Disney's decision to forego a theatrical release for Turning Red and instead release it directly on the Disney+ streaming service.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Pixar's next film, Turning Red, will be forgoing its theatrical release and heading straight to Disney+. The CG-animated film is set to premiere exclusively on the streaming service on March 11.

Following the announcement, it's now being reported that various Pixar staff are "disappointed" that the movie won't be releasing in theaters. Insider's Jason Guerrasio spoke to multiple Pixar staff and they all echoed a similar sentiment.

"It's safe to say that we're all feeling extremely disappointed," said one anonymous Pixar 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."

With this move, Turning Red is now the third straight Pixar film to release directly on Disney+ at no additional charge. Soul, an Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature, was the first to debut on Disney+ on Christmas of 2020. And that was followed by Luca, which arrived on Disney+ in summer of 2021.

While Pixar members were shocked and disappointed with Disney's move, it sounds like most of them understand the reason. With the Omicron variant causing a surge in COVID cases, Disney acknowledged the impact it would have on the box office recovery. 

"With Omicron infections so high, I haven't heard anyone say the decision to pivot to streaming is wrong," said another anonymous Pixar staffer.

Turning Red is a coming-of-age story that follows 13-year-old Mei Lee who whenever she gets excited turns into a giant red panda. It marks the feature debut of Domee Shi, director behind 2018's Oscar-winning short Bao.

Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda! 

Look out for Turning Red on Disney+ starting on March 11.

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