News from early October 2022, including "Yellowstone" moving to Paramount+ in Canada, and answers to questions about the Roku Channel and more.
Turning Red, the critically-acclaimed, Toronto-set Pixar Animation Studios film directed by Chinese-Canadian animator Domee Shi about a girl who transforms into a giant red panda, starring the voices of Rosalie Chiang and Sandra Oh, and featuring original songs written by Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell, was released by Disney on Friday, March 11, 2022.
This web page is intended as a reference for adults. If you are a kid who is trying to watch this movie, you should talk to your parents or guardians before doing anything else.
In Canada, Turning Red is being initially released exclusively on Disney+, the company's flagship streaming service, and not in theatres, after a change in plans announced on January 7 which also applies to the United States and other countries where Disney+ is available. The only exceptions have been a handful of special premiere events (like one at Toronto's TIFF Lightbox on March 8), and a one-week engagement at a Disney-owned cinema in Hollywood. The film will be released theatrically by Walt Disney Pictures in most other countries where Disney+ is not available.
The Canadian version of Disney+ costs $11.99 per month, or $119.99 per year if billed annually, and includes access to a variety of other content – some family-oriented, some much more mature (which can be restricted with parental controls) – from Disney and its subsidiaries like Marvel, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, and FX. (All prices in this article are in Canadian dollars, and are before applicable sales taxes.)
Note that unlike some of Disney Plus' 2021 "Premier Access" releases like Black Widow, no movie-specific charge is required to watch Turning Red on Disney+, just the service's regular subscription fee.
If Turning Red is so good, why can I only watch it on streaming?
For many years, Disney was well-known for releasing its lesser releases – like the animated sequels to Aladdin and The Lion King – directly on home video, so we don't fault consumers for skepticism when it comes to seeing movies released directly to streaming.
However, over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney has moved several movies originally intended for theatrical release to streaming, including other well-received Pixar films like Soul and Luca. While this has led to understandable frustration from staff at Pixar, Disney has insisted that these moves are purely meant to get the movies out to as many potential viewers as possible during the pandemic, and do not mean that the studio thinks these are bad movies.
When Disney announced the transfer of Turning Red to Disney+ on January 7, it cited "the delayed box office recovery, particularly for family films", during the pandemic, which seemed to be exacerbated following the rise of the Omicron variant in late 2021. In other words, families were still not going out to the movies as often as they did pre-pandemic.
The studio's decision might have been informed by the performance of other films like Encanto, which had modest worldwide box office gross revenue of $250 million after its November 2021 release, but only seemed to take off in public awareness (at least in North America) after its Disney+ release on December 24.
At the time of the announcement of the move to streaming, it wasn't entirely clear how long it would take for case numbers to go down (and thus for restrictions to ease) – and there was only so long Disney could wait before firming up its marketing plans. The public health situation has improved considerably in many areas since then, but changing plans again then would have likely confused filmgoers even more.
Will there be anywhere else in Canada I can watch Turning Red?
Yes. In late April, Disney released Turning Red for premium digital purchase through the following services, initially retailing for $24.99 plus applicable sales taxes (though the price may vary over time):
- Amazon Prime Video Store
- Apple TV / iTunes Store
- Cineplex Store
- Google Play Movies & TV Store
- Microsoft Movies & TV
- YouTube Movies
- Cable or fibre TV service provider video-on-demand services (on set-top boxes), with providers including Bell, Rogers, Cogeco, SaskTel, Shaw, Telus, and Vidéotron
The movie will also be available on physical media in multiple formats, including DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, beginning on May 3, 2022.
However, consistent with other Pixar films that skipped theatres and went directly to Disney+, specifically Soul and Luca, the film is currently only available for purchase, not digital rental.
In other words, unless you're certain you'll be watching it again (and don't want to stay subscribed to Disney+), or are able to rent/borrow a physical copy through a local rental store or public library, for now the best value for watching Turning Red is just paying for a month of Disney+ even if that's the only thing there you watch.
- May 1, 2022 – noted availability for digital purchase