There was plenty of excitement surrounding Domee Shi‘s Turning Red as it would have marked the turn of a Pixar film to be released in a theater. It was also the studio’s first film to be directed by a woman. However, because of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Turning Red will make its debut on Disney+ on March 11, 2021, instead of the traditional theatrical release like initially planned.
“Disney+ subscribers around the world enthusiastically embraced Pixar’s Academy Award-winning Soul and the critically-acclaimed Luca when they premiered exclusively on the service, and we look forward to bringing them Pixar’s next incredible feature film Turning Red,” said Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “Given the delayed box office recovery, particularly for family films, 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.”
Turning Red will be the third original Pixar title in a row to be released on Disney’s streaming service. The film centers on 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!
The press release made no mention of whether or not Turning Red will be a Premier Access exclusive. Disney films that were released on Premier Access saw subscribers paying an additional fee for unlimited access to some of Disney’s biggest titles that were day and date releases like Mulan, Raya and the Last Dragon, Black Widow, and more. The next Pixar film scheduled to hit theaters is the Toy Story spinoff, Lightyear, on June 17, 2022.
Directed by Shi (Pixar’s Academy Award-winning short, Bao), Turning Red produced by Lindsey Collins. The animated film makes its streaming debut exclusively on Disney+ on March 11, 2022.