A few months ago, the Walt Disney Company announced it would be laying off thousands of workers as one of several efforts it was making to reduce costs. Many of those cuts are taking place across its entertainment sector, and as it turns out, that includes its prized animation studio, Pixar.
Per Reuters, 75 staffers from the studio behind Toy Story and Monsters Inc. were let go in late May, and were Pixar’s first job cuts in decade after the underperformance of 2013’s The Good Dinosaur. These cuts come after numerous box office disappointments in the last several years. Two of those departures are pretty high up the chain, with one of them being Angus MacLane. He served as an animator on Toy Story 4 and Coco before getting a chance to solo direct 2022’s Lightyear, which was one of those aforementioned theatrical duds.
The other senior member is Galyn Susman, a longtime employee who produced Lightyear and is best known for literally saving Toy Story 2 from being completely lost. During the film’s production in 1998, all of the work done up to that point was almost lost due to a deletion command on the film’s assets in Pixar’s internal servers. Susman, who was on maternity leave at the time and remote working, had a backup copy of the movie on her home PC, allowing Pixar to recover near everything that had been lost.
Over the next few years, Pixar’s output will mostly be sequels that are expected to guarantee financial success where the likes of Lightyear and Turning Red could not. Sequels for Toy Story, Zootopia, and Inside Out are in the works, and Disney Animation is developing a third Frozen movie. In terms of non-franchise films from either studio, Pixar has Elio sometime in the near future, and Disney Animation’s Wish (which straddles the line between “original” and “franchise” work) is set to drop in November.
Pixar’s next movie, Elemental, will release in theaters on June 16.
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