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Pixar announces big layoffs

At the gates:
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At the gates: Shutterstock

Pixar Animation Studios is laying off 14% of its employees as it looks to implement a strategy prioritizing the quality of content over sheer quantity. 

Pixar Animation Studios is set to lay off approximately 175 employees, or about 14% of its workforce, according to a spokesperson for parent company Walt Disney. This move is a direct result of CEO Bob Iger's strategy to prioritize the quality of content over quantity. While other Disney divisions faced layoffs last year, Pixar's cuts were postponed due to ongoing production schedules.

Iger, who returned as CEO in late 2022, aims to improve Disney's box office performance by refocusing Pixar on theatrical releases rather than streaming content. The shift comes after pandemic-induced changes in consumer viewing habits and challenges in creating new IP that resonates with audiences. Elemental was a decent enough hit for the company last year, taking over $480 million globally, but compared to the $1bn plus of  pre-pandemic hits like Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 has to be considered a comparative flop. And the less said about 2022's Lightyear ($219m) the better.

Iger is taking Pixar away from short-form series for Disney+ and returning to its roots with a focus on big-screen experiences. This strategic move is meant to revive the studio's connection with audiences and restore its box office success (the MCU is doing the same, looking to trim a bloated schedule and get back to making better content). 

As a result Pixar will go back to concentrating on its traditional yearly Father's Day weekend release schedule, with next month's Inside Out 2 already forecast to have the biggest opening weekend in the US box office of any movie so far this year. So, the future's looking more positive for the company as a whole, just sadly not for the 175 people it's currently letting go.

inside out 2

Anxiety from the forthcoming Inside Out 2 seems an appropriate choice of character here...

Tags: Production News