For many years, Pixar was the gold standard in animation, with almost every movie going on to become a box office hit and critical success, but in the past few years, Pixar hit some bumpy roads during the pandemic with three of its movies, “Luca”, “Soul” and “Turning Red”, being redirected straight to Disney+.

Following the pandemic, “Lightyear” was a major disappointment at the box office, while “Elemental” was one of the biggest hits for Disney in 2023, with a slow burn at the box office and lots of positive responses from audiences.

When Bob Iger returned as Disney’s CEO, he embarked on a significant cost-cutting program, which saw over 7,000 cast members from across the different divisions let go to save over $5 billion. Sadly, the job cuts have continued at Pixar.

According to THR, Pixar laid off 175 employees, which is 14% of its workforce. With a note going out to cast members by Pixar president Jim Morris saying:

“Calendar invites to speak with a leader have already gone out to those individuals, and we anticipate we will have connected with everyone impacted by the end of the day”

Pixar staff had been expecting the cuts, as it had been reported that there would be a 20% reduction in staff, so these cuts are slightly smaller than expected.

These cuts have happened because of Bob Iger’s mandate to make less content but better content, with Pixar now being refocused only on theatrical releases rather than on creating as much as possible for Disney+, which was something former CEO Bob Chapek was forcing on its studios.   

The next big release for Pixar is the sequel to “Inside Out”, which hits cinemas in June and next year, “Elio” is set to be released in cinemas in June.  “Elio” was pushed back over a year and the studio is also underway on a new instalment in the “Toy Story” franchise.

Pixar still has its first-ever series, “Win Or Lose,” scheduled to be released on Disney+ later this year, even though it has suffered from multiple delays. However, this is likely going to be the only Disney+ series released by Pixar, as the studio will release fewer projects each year. 

Roger’s Take:  It’s unfortunate that these job cuts have happened, and they weren’t able to be repositioned elsewhere within the company, but if Pixar is reducing how many projects it is creating at any one time, it just needs fewer staff.  It’s odd how the idea that Pixar ramped up production for Disney+ was seen as a major problem for the studio, as we’ve barely seen two projects released a year, but the decision to have three Pixar movies released directly onto Disney+, whereas Walt Disney Animation Studios still had theatrical releases for “Encanto” and “Raya And The Last Dragon” (though both didn’t do well at the box office), is all part of this “narrative” that Pixar’s work has been undervalued over the past few years.

I’m also convinced that “Win Or Lose” was held back from having a Disney+ release in order to make sure “Inside Out 2” performs better at the box office.   Delaying “Elio” for over 15 months probably happened because the film just wasn’t up to Pixar’s usual standards, and they had more time to make it better.     It sucks for those who have lost their jobs, but hopefully, a stronger Pixar will emerge from these changes.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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