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Pixar's Toronto-set 'Turning Red' among Disney Plus debuts now headed to theatres

"Turning Red," set in a computer animated version of Toronto, will see a theatrical release next year after its premiere on Disney Plus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mei Lee, voiced by Rosalie Chiang, is shown in a still image handout from a scene of the animated film "Turning Red." THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, Disney+, *MANDATORY CREDIT* "Turning Red," set in a computer animated version of Toronto, will see a theatrical release next year after its premiere on Disney Plus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mei Lee, voiced by Rosalie Chiang, is shown in a still image handout from a scene of the animated film "Turning Red." THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, Disney+, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
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Pixar's Toronto-set animated film "Turning Red" is getting its day on the big screen after a Disney Plus home premiere during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Oscar-nominated movie is booked for a theatrical run starting Feb. 9, 2024. It's one of three Pixar titles whose streaming-only fates are now being rewritten.

Jazz comedy "Soul" heads to cinemas Jan. 12 while the Italian Riviera adventure "Luca," featuring the voice of Vancouver actor Jacob Tremblay, launches in theatres March 22.

"Turning Red" follows the story of a Chinese-Canadian teenager who morphs into a red panda whenever she's under pressure. It was the first Pixar film set in Canada and while it was originally planned to play theatres last year, Disney rerouted the title to its streaming service as COVID-19 cases surged.

The decision led to grumblings from some Canadians who felt the film deserved the big-screen treatment.

While Disney didn't explain why all three Pixar films are headed to theatres in its announcement Tuesday, the decision comes at a difficult time for the studio as COVID-19 production slowdowns compounded dual actor and writer strikes earlier this year.

Those complications left Disney with a nearly empty calendar of film releases between last month's theatrical dud "Wish" and "Inside Out 2," which doesn't premiere until June.

Canadian "Turning Red" filmmaker Domee Shi last year told The Canadian Press she had "mixed feelings" about the film's premiere on Disney Plus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2023.

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