Disney Has Begun Major Layoffs At Pixar Animation Studios

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Disney has begun major layoffs at Pixar Animation Studios as part of proposed cost-cutting measures it announced earlier this year.

Nearly 200 people, or approximately 14 percent of the company’s work force, will be let go as part of the biggest restructuring in the history of the studio, the Hollywood Reporter noted. However, none of the layoffs will affect top leadership, the outlet reported.

In January, Reuters reported that the layoffs could go as high as 20%, bringing the total number of employees at the studio to under 1,000.

Pixar will focus on its feature films and not on direct-to-streaming series, as had been the focus during the pandemic, THR noted. 

The cuts are part of proposed changes by Disney CEO Bob Iger, who said in 2023 that Disney planned to reduce streaming content, focus on quality, and cut its workforce by thousands to save money, as previously reported.

Variety reported in February 2023 that Iger said on the company’s earnings call for the final quarter of fiscal year 2022 that the company will reduce its workforce by 7,000 employees.

The cut represents 3.2% of the company’s 220,000 global workforce, the report said.

The company hopes to save more than $5 billion in costs, half of which is aimed at cutting back on “non-content costs,” the report said. The company also is looking to cut back on sports by roughly $3 billion.

“I have enormous respect and appreciation for the dedication of our employees worldwide,” Iger said.

The report said that Iger laid out a new company structure for Disney comprised of three separate segments: Disney Entertainment, ESPN, and Disney Parks.

In June last year, 75 jobs were cut at Pixar, including two executives responsible for the box office flop of “Lightyear,” Reuters reported. The cuts included “Lightyear” director Angus MacLane, a 26-year animator, and Galyn Susman, producer of “Lightyear,” the outlet noted.

The studio — responsible for the popular “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles,” and “Cars” franchises — suffered with the box office failure of “Lightyear.” The animated film had a reported budget of $200 million and ended up only bringing in $226.7 million in worldwide ticket sales. By comparison, “Toy Story 3” and “Toy Story 4” each earned more than $1 billion globally.

Ryan Saavedra contributed to this piece.

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