‘Turning Red’ theatrical release canceled, film shifts to Disney+

Amanda Kondolojy
Orlando Sentinel

Pixar’s latest film “Turning Red” was yanked from Disney’s theatrical release schedule a little more than two months before it was set to debut. The movie will now release exclusively on Disney+ March 11, free for all subscribers with no additional Premier Access fee.

“Turning Red” follows a 13-year-old girl named Mei Lee who turns into a giant red panda every time her emotions get out of control.

A scene from Pixar's "Turning Red."

For those keeping track, this is now the third Pixar movie to skip theaters and go straight to Disney+ after 2020′s “Soul” and 2021′s “Luca” were also shifted to Disney’s online streaming service for no additional fee.

This is in sharp contrast to Walt Disney Animation’s recent releases, which include “Raya and the Last Dragon,” which was released in theaters and via Disney+ Premier Access for a $29.99 fee, and “Encanto,” which debuted on Disney+ free for all subscribers after a 30-day theatrical release.

Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution said via a statement that the release decision was made “given the delayed box office recovery, particularly for family films,” adding that “flexibility remains at the core of our distribution decisions as we prioritize delivering the unparalleled content of The Walt Disney Company to audiences around the world.”

All eyes are now on Pixar’s “Lightyear,” which is a “Toy Story” spinoff currently scheduled for a theatrical release on June 17. This film follows the “real” in-universe astronaut Buzz Lightyear, whose likeness inspired the “Toy Story” character of the same name, and will be the first Pixar film to hit theaters since March 2020′s “Onward.”

Currently, none of Disney’s live-action films, including Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” also scheduled for a release this spring, are expected to move to Disney+.