Pixar Employees Reportedly Feeling ‘Demoralized’ After Disney Dumps Luca & Soul to Streaming

The recent news that upcoming Pixar flick, Luca, would follow Soul before it and be released straight to Disney+ has reportedly left those working at the beloved animation studio feeling demoralized. It was recently revealed that Luca, which was originally set to be theatrically released in the United States on June 18, 2021, would skip theaters entirely and would instead be made available to stream on Disney+. And not even Disney+’s new Premier Access.

“Just talked to a Pixar friend who says Luca and Soul moves to Disney+ have been demoralizing for employees: “Forget theaters, we’re not even good enough for an upcharge?””

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According to a tweet from former THR editor Matthew Belloni, the decision, which is exactly the same one made which led to Soul skipping a theatrical release and going straight to Disney+, has had a negative effect on Pixar employees who have now twice seen their efforts miss the silver screen.

Since the ongoing global situation clasped its contagious hands around the entertainment industry, several studios have moved towards streaming releases for projects which were initially intended to hit theaters. Where Disney is concerned, several tentpole releases have been moved to Disney+ amid theater closures, but some of these, such as Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon, have come at an extra cost of $29.99 to subscribers. Pixars output however has not even been given this, with both Soul and now Luca becoming available directly via the standard Disney+ library.

While this is undeniably good news for viewers who cannot wait to see the next Pixar adventure, the decision is understandably unpopular with those at Pixar, who clearly feel that their efforts are not being appreciated enough by the studio. While in international markets where Disney+ is not available, Luca will still be released theatrically, with premiere dates to be announced, the creatives behind the project are disappointed that domestic audiences will not have the opportunity to see Luca’s gloriously vibrant visuals on the big screen.

Luca is set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, with Disney and Pixar telling a coming-of-age story with a twist. The story follows one young boy as he experiences an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply held secret…they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface.

Luca is directed by Academy Award nominee Enrico Casarosa, who previously brought Pixar’s La Luna to life and is being produced by Andrea Warren (Lava, Cars 3). Written by Jesse Andrews (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) and Mike Jones Soul, the animated feature stars a wonderful ensemble cast led by Room and Wonder star Jacob Tremblay.

Making up the rest of the cast are Jack Dylan Grazer (We Are Who We Are, Shazam), newcomer Emma Berman, Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, Saturday Night Live, Big Mouth), Marco Barricelli (The Book of Daniel), and Jim Gaffigan (The Pale Tourist, Troop Zero).

Luca is scheduled to stream in the United States on Disney+ from June 18. These claims were made by former THR editor Matthew Belloni.

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