Walt Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios recently made significant job cuts, eliminating 75 positions, including those of two executives involved in the movie “Lightyear.” This marks the first major round of job cuts at the renowned animation studio in a decade.
Reuters first reported the story.
The cuts reportedly affected Angus MacLane, the director of “Lightyear,” and Galyn Susman, the film’s producer. MacLane, a 26-year animator, had been part of the senior creative team behind acclaimed films such as “Toy Story 4” and “Coco.”
Susman had been with Pixar since the release of the original “Toy Story” movie in 1995.
While the exact reasons for the job cuts are not explicitly stated, they are believed to be part of Walt Disney’s larger cost-cutting efforts. Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, had previously announced plans to eliminate 7,000 jobs and reduce costs by $5.5 billion. This restructuring involved combining the film and television groups into a single Disney Entertainment unit and eliminating a distribution division.
Although the number of job cuts is relatively small compared to Pixar’s total employee base of about 1,200, it is noteworthy due to the studio’s significant creative contributions to Disney’s revenue. Pixar is renowned for its successful cinematic franchises, including “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles,” and “Cars.”
However, “Lightyear,” released in the previous year with a reported budget of $200 million, did not meet expectations at the box office, generating only $226.7 million in worldwide ticket sales. The film also received a mixed critical reception.
One factor that likely impacted the box office performance of “Lightyear” was its inability to be shown in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries due to its depiction of a same-sex relationship. This limited distribution may have hindered its potential for greater box office success in those regions.
These job cuts at Pixar are part of broader layoffs across Disney divisions, including film and television, streaming services, and theme parks. The last time Pixar underwent such cuts was in 2013 when the release of the film “The Good Dinosaur” was postponed, leading to the elimination of about 30 positions.
Disney’s acquisition of Pixar in 2006 was aimed at revitalizing Disney Animation, which had been struggling at the time. Pixar’s innovative storytelling and animation techniques have since played a crucial role in Disney’s success, making these recent job cuts a notable development in the studio’s history.