Pixar’s top Disney Plus movies from the pandemic are getting a box office run

Turning Red
Turning Red was originally supposed to launch in theaters. (Image credit: Disney / Pixar)

Amid all the news of shows and movies being cancelled, it's nice to see some films being given another chance to shine. And that's exactly what Disney plans to do with three Pixar releases. Soul, Turning Red and Luca never got theatrical releases, but that's changing in early 2024. 

Following their releases on Disney Plus over the past three years, Soul will finally hit cinemas in the US on January 12, Turning Red will get its big screen moment on February 9 and Luca will make it to the silver screen on March 22.

What all three movies have in common (beyond all being typically heartwarming Pixar movies) is that the Covid-19 pandemic scuppered the original release plans, so they all debuted on one of the best streaming services rather than in the cinema. And while that was great fun for home-bound Pixar fans and carers of bored kids, it did mean that film fans never got to see the movies as their creators intended them to be seen.

As you'd expect from Pixar, each film – which are among the best Disney Plus movies available to stream – will also be accompanied by an animated short. These are titled Burrow for Soul, Kitbull for Turning Red, and For The Birds for Luca.

Why is Disney bringing these Pixar films to the big screen?

The usual answer to these questions is money. Disney's cinematic slate for 2024 isn't exactly packed. There's only one Marvel movie, Deadpool 3, and the next Pixar film, Inside Out 2, isn't coming out until the summer. So getting people into the cinema in January, February and March could bring in a few bucks.

It's not likely to bring in a lot of bucks, though, because of course if you're a fan of Pixar movies then you'll have seen these films at least once. If you're a fan of Pixar movies and look after younger kids you've probably seen them so many times you can recite the dialog along with the characters. 

It'll be really interesting to see whether these films are cinema successes. As Deadline notes, the release of Turning Red could have gone ahead but Disney decided to make it streaming-only to push Disney Plus instead. "Many insiders believed that that brought further tarnish to the Pixar brand, conditioning fans to stay at home for big animated movies, rather than head out to theaters." Is the lovely Luca, the relatability of Turning Red or the smooth sound of Soul enough to tempt them back out again? We'll find out soon enough.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.