Layoffs Hit Animation Studio (Exclusive)

Long-awaited layoffs have begun at Pixar animation studios.

Today, leadership at the storied company, which traces its origins to the late Steve Jobs and was purchased by Disney in 2006, will notify employees of the cuts. Hollywood Reporter to learn. It is the largest restructuring in Pixar’s history, although senior leadership was not affected.

Approximately 14% of Pixar’s workforce, or about 175 employees, will be laid off. Before the cuts, approximately 1,300 people worked at the animation studio.

The layoffs are part of Disney Chairman Bob Iger’s overall mandate to return to a focus on quality, versus producing content for streaming that had been a priority for his successor, Bob Chapek. Disney executives talked about a return to a focus on quality during several earnings calls this year, saying that creative teams across the company were too stretched out in the arms race to feed streamers.

Pixar employees have known since January that layoffs were coming. If there is some consolation, it is that the cuts are less than the 20 percent reported by some media outlets in January. Pixar is not featured.

Sources say there were layoffs across Disney last year, but the cuts at Pixar were delayed by production schedules. Pixar – led by Pete Docter – will no longer focus on streaming series, but on its feature films. This is ruled out Win or losewhich is scheduled to debut later this year.

The once invincible animation studio suffered a major setback during the pandemic era when Chapek’s regime decided to send it out Luca, Coco And It turns red Straight to Disney+ even though movie theaters had started to reopen or were in full recovery mode. And then its first theatrical release after Covid, Light year It was mostly rejected by critics and audiences, subjecting Pixar to constant scrutiny.

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Pixar received good news last year with the release of a movie racistWhich grossed nearly $500 million worldwide, becoming the biggest original animated film since Pixar Coco In 2017. He was also a sensation.

The theater owners have high hopes for this Inside out 2, which will open on June 14 in North America (the trailer was the most-watched animated trailer in the company’s history). Other upcoming films include next year Elio And Toy Story 5 In 2026.

The full memo from Pixar President Jim Morris to employees on Tuesday is below:

Welcome everyone.

I’ve spoken to you several times over the past year about our upcoming transition away from producing series for Disney+, back to our focus on feature films, and the reduction in our team that will come with it. That day has come, and while it comes as no surprise to anyone, it is one of the most difficult changes we’ve had to make, because it means we will be parting ways with a number of talented and dedicated colleagues and friends.

Today, leaders will begin the process of notifying employees whose positions have been affected. Calendar invitations to speak with a leader have already been sent to these individuals, and we expect to have reached out to everyone affected by the end of the day.

I want to assure you that we will provide extensive support as our colleagues begin to transition out of the studio. We are committed to ensuring that their departure is treated with the utmost respect and care at every stage. This is important to me, and I understand how important it is to all of us in the Pixar community. I’ll be hosting a short studio meeting via Zoom this afternoon at 5:00 to talk more about today’s announcement.

Despite the challenges our industry has faced over the past few years, you have all consistently shown to contribute, collaborate, innovate, lead, and do great work in this studio. I offer you many thanks, and to those who will be leaving us, I hope that our paths will cross again, both professionally and personally.


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