The animated film was originally scheduled to be released in theatres on 19 June, but was pushed back to 20 November due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, on Thursday (8 October), Disney announced that the film would be avoiding a cinema release entirely and debuting directly on streaming service Disney+ on 25 December.
Unlike with Disney’s live action Mulan, which was released in September, Disney+ subscribers will be able to stream the film for free rather than paying an additional £19.99 to watch it.
From the creators of Up and Inside Out, Soul tells the story of a middle school teacher (Jamie Foxx) who dreams of becoming a jazz musician. Its voice cast includes Tina Fey, Questlove and Angela Bassett.
The news marks another devastating blow to the global film industry amid one of its toughest weeks during the pandemic.
Last Friday (2 October), it was announced that Daniel Craig’s final James Bond film No Time To Die had been pushed back again from its November release to April 2021.
A number of other films have also been delayed, including Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune.
Shortly afterwards, Cineworld announced its plans to temporarily close all of its UK and US cinemas, affecting more than 45,000 staff members.
Warning of the impact pushing back these projects could have, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins said: “If we shut this down, this will not be a reversible process. We could lose movie theatre-going forever.”