Pixar film 'Soul' to skip theaters, debut on Disney+ at Christmas
© Courtesy Disney

Disney announced Thursday that the new Pixar film “Soul” will skip theaters and head straight to Disney+, the latest in a stream of new movies released on online platforms this year after theaters were forced to shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to The Associated Press, the animated film starring Jamie Foxx and “Hamilton's" Daveed Diggs, which was originally slated for a theatrical release on Nov. 20, will be released on Disney’s streaming service at Christmas.

“Soul” follows a middle school teacher who dreams of becoming a jazz musician on a journey through the afterlife. It was directed by Pete Docter, Pixar’s chief creative officer and the filmmaker behind “Up” and “Inside Out.” 

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“The world can be an exhausting and frustrating place — but it’s also full of unexpected joys, even in seemingly mundane things,” Docter said in a statement, according to the AP. “‘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.”

Last month, Disney also released “Mulan” on Disney+ instead of in theaters. Although it had charged $30 for early access of “Mulan,” “Soul” will be available to the streaming platform’s more than 60 million subscribers at no extra cost, according to the AP. 

Last week, MGM announced that it would again be postponing the release of the newest James Bond installment, “No Time to Die,” starring Daniel Craig, until 2021. The film had already been delayed in March, when it was pushed to Nov. 25. 

With COVID-19 cases continuing to soar across the country and around the globe, movie theaters have struggled to maintain themselves financially. 

On Monday, Cineworld Group Plc said it would be closing 536 Regal locations in the United States, as well as 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse venues in the United Kingdom. The move was expected to impact about 45,000 employees.