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'Frozen 2' to Disney+, 'Skywalker' digital release early

The world could use some “Frozen” Olaf laughs right now.

Amid the dire news and movie cancellations due to the coronavirus outbreak, Walt Disney Studios announced some good news: “Frozen 2” and “Rise of Skywalker” will see early releases for families stuck at home.

“Frozen 2” will be released this Sunday on streaming Disney+, three months earlier than scheduled.

“Frozen 2” features “powerful themes of perseverance and the importance of family, messages that are incredibly relevant during this time,” Bob Chapek, Walt Disney Company chief executive officer, said in a statement highlighting the release.

The animated film and its voice cast — including Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Josh Gad —will arrive on Disney+ in the U.S. March 15 and in Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand on March 17.

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“Frozen 2,” which opened on Nov. 22, had already completed its theatrical run and hit video-on-demand on Feb. 25. With more than $1.4 billion in worldwide ticket sales, it’s the highest grossing animated film ever.

Disney-made “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” was available for purchase as of late Friday across digital retailers, four days before its scheduled March 17 release date.

Rey looks focused in

“Rise of Skywalker” is available in HD for $19.99 and in 4K Ultra HD for $24.99 (via Apple TV and iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, FandangoNow and Movies Anywhere). A Disney studio source not authorized to speak on the record confirmed to USA TODAY that the early release was authorized to allow home viewing amid the coronavirus situation. The “Rise of Skywalker” Blu-ray disc release will remain March 31.

The home release news came during a brutal week for Hollywood’s movie releases due to the coronavirus. Disney’s entire slate of films, including “Mulan (March 27)” have had their theatrical releases postponed.

Olaf has deep thoughts in

Disney also announced all live-action productions would be halted due to the coronavirus, following much of the industry.

Disney+ is set to launch in most of Europe March 24. Disney’s glamorous launch party in London March 5, highlighting the streaming services’ arrival, was supremely curtailed to select press members only due to the coronavirus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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