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‘Soul’ Aims for Oscar Glory as Disney Shifts to Streaming, but Not All Films Deserve the Same Release

Disney has consolidated its film and TV divisions, but it's unclear whether this will help some of its better offerings.




Pixar’s “Soul” scored its first reviews over the past week, and to the surprise of exactly nobody, the praise was universal. This musical tale of the afterlife (which features the studio’s first Black protagonist) seems poised to become a major Oscar player, which is especially startling since Disney announced plans to skip theaters and release the film onto Disney+ in December.

That news came paired with an even bigger update: The studio is consolidating its film and TV divisions while making it clear that many of its productions will go straight to the streaming service instead of theaters. This comes in the wake of its hybrid approach to the “Mulan” release, and anticipates some of the broader conversations about the future of exhibition sure to come up in the year ahead. One question looms large: With the push to release films straight to VOD, does everything benefit from the same release strategy?

In this week’s episode of Screen Talk, Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson discuss these developments as they anticipate the momentum “Soul” may build in the months ahead. They also preview this year’s AFI FEST, which started this week, assess the newly-announced DOC NYC lineup, and look ahead to a virtual Sundance experience.

Listen to the full episode below. 

Screen Talk is available on Apple PodcastsStitcher, and SoundcloudYou can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on Apple Podcasts and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on Apple Podcasts right here.

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