A Big Round of Layoffs at Pixar

Company is cutting 175 employees
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2024 7:44 PM CDT
A Big Round of Layoffs at Pixar
This image released by Disney/Pixar shows, from left, Sadness, voiced by Phyllis Smith, from left, Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler, Disgust, voiced by Liza Lapira, Fear, voiced by Tony Hale and Anger, voiced by Lewis Black in a scene from "Inside Out 2."   (Disney/Pixar via AP)

Tuesday was a tough day for Pixar employees. Some 175 employees were let go in what the Hollywood Reporter describes as the "biggest restructuring" in the animation studio's history. The layoffs had been expected and the axe didn't swing quite as widely as feared: Around 14% of the company's workforce is being laid off, not the 20% reported earlier this year, CNBC reports. The Reporter describes the layoffs as part of Disney CEO Bob Iger's "overarching mandate to return to a focus on quality, versus churning out content for streaming."

Reuters reports that Pixar hired additional staff to create original series under Bob Chapek, Disney's CEO from 2022. The studio now plans to exclusively create feature films, which will appear in cinemas before they are on the Disney+ streaming service. Variety reports that Pixar struggling during the pandemic, when Soul, Luca, and Turning Red were sent directly to Disney+. Later releases, especially Lightyear, did not perform as well as pre-pandemic hits like Coco, but Pixar hopes to reverse the trend with Inside Out 2 next month.

"During COVID, we trained audiences to watch our movies on Disney+. I won't say there was a lot of choice," Pixar president Jim Morris told Variety last year. "For periods of time, it was the only thing we could do. We have a little work to unring the bell and motivate families to go to the theater and not wait a few months to see it on Disney+." (More Pixar stories.)

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