Pixar's Soul pushed to November, Disney delays Raya and the Last Dragon
In a move that isn't all surprising, given that movie theaters are still closed these days and there's still no telling when people might be able to break from self-quarantine, Disney has officially delayed two more of its titles.
Pixar's Soul, featuring the voices of Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, was pushed from its planned June 19 premiere in theaters to a spot later this year on Nov. 20. Because of that, Raya and the Last Dragon from Walt Disney Animation has been bumped from this Nov. 25 to March 12, 2021.
This means that there's now no big theatrical planned for theaters until July, which is the new home for Disney's live-action Mulan. It also means the end of the year will be packed with movies.
Disney had already announced new release dates for The French Dispatch (Oct. 16), Black Widow (Nov. 6), Free Guy (Dec. 11), and The Last Duel (Dec. 25). Paramount then moved A Quiet Place Part II to Sept. 4 and Top Gun: Maverick to Dec. 23. MGM and Universal's No Time to Die will also open on Nov. 25 in the U.S.
Soul, from Inside Out director Pete Docter, is the story of Joe Gardner (Foxx), a music teacher who gets his dream gig just before he falls down a man hole. With his body in a coma, his soul finds itself at the "You Seminar," an otherworldly realm for souls before they enter their human bodies. There, Joe meets another soul, 22 (Fey), and the pair set out on a journey to return Joe to his body.
Featuring the voices of Awkwafina and Cassie Steele, Raya and the Last Dragon sees the fictional world of Kumandra, a place that becomes invaded by a dark and sinister force. Lone warrior Raya (Steele) embarks on her own quest to find the last remaining dragon (Awkwafina) in the hopes of saving her home.
Raya and the Last Dragon will now be one of the first Disney Animation films to be developed from remote locations. Frozen animator Hyrum Osmond developed a series of Olaf shorts for the web but noted in an interview with EW that there are larger implications for feature films.
"What I do see is that the technology is there and available, and [there's] the possibility of very much being able to do this from home in a lot of ways," Osmond said. "That’s the thing which I found really great about this. I got going doing this by myself, but once a team got involved, I saw that they also were able to do what they needed to do from home."
"Now, we're making you a movie from home," Brandon Jarratt, an artist, programmer, and technical director at Disney Animation Studios, tweeted of Raya's new release date.
Further delays on the Hollywood film front feel likely in the coming weeks, unless some new developments on the coronavirus situation emerge soon that would suggest otherwise. Artemis Fowl was the first film Disney decided to schedule for the Disney+ streaming platform in favor of a theatrical release, and Disney Chairman Bob Iger hinted that more films could go the same route.