Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red is headed straight for Disney+ amid the surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant.

The Pixar film will bypass a theatrical release and instead launch exclusively on the streaming service March 11. It had previously been set to hit the big screen on that date.

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution made the announcement on Friday.

“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 Co. to audiences around the world,” Disney said in a statement.

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Turning Red will be released theatrically in international markets where Disney+ is not yet available, with premiere dates to be announced.

“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,” Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, said in a statement.

The Disney exec insisted the studio had to be agile as it continued to release movies during the pandemic. “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 Co. to audiences around the world,” Daniel added.

Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red introduces Mei Lee, voiced by Rosalie Chiang, as a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective and overbearing mother, Ming, voiced by Sandra Oh, is never far from her daughter. And Mei Lee, whenever she gets too excited, manages to “poof” into a giant red panda.

Turning Red is directed by Oscar winner Domee Shi, who helmed the Pixar short film Bao, and is produced by Lindsey Collins.

Pamela McClintock contributed to this report.

Source: Hollywood

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