Pixar Layoffs: Disney Cutting Jobs, Originals for Streaming


Disney is laying off 14% of Pixar’s total workforce in a round of job cuts that were expected for some time but delayed due to production schedules.

Roughly 175 employees of Pixar Animation Studios, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, were let go on Tuesday, marking the biggest restructuring effort in the company’s 38-year history. Top leadership was not affected, according to reports.

Per the restructuring, Pixar will no longer produce original series for its streaming services focusing instead on “feature films,” per an internal memo seen by the New York Times.

Related: Disney to Begin Cracking Down on Password Sharing in June

During the Q4 2023 earnings call in November, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger expressed the need to shift the company’s strategy toward “quality” rather than “quantity” programming.

“At the time the pandemic hit, we were leaning into a huge increase in how much we were making. And I’ve always felt that quantity can be actually a negative when it comes to quality. And I think that’s exactly what happened. We lost some focus,” Iger said. “And so, working with the talented team at the studio, we’re looking to — and working to consolidate, meaning make less, focus more on quality.”

During the pandemic, Disney released three Pixar films (“Soul”, “Luca,” and “Turning Red”) on Disney+ and not in theaters, a first for the company as it attempted to navigate theater closures and Covid restrictions.

Earlier this month, Disney (which also owns Hulu) announced that it will offer a streaming bundle with Warner Bros Discovery combining Disney+, Hulu, and Max for subscribers. It is set to roll out this summer.

Disney+ saw a loss of 1.3 million core subscribers quarterly in Q1 2024, presumably due to price hikes.

Related: Disney+, Hulu, Max Combining to Make Mega Streaming Bundle

“When you fix or when you address these issues…you do three things. You get aggressive at making sure the films you’re making can be even better,” Iger said on the company’s Q1 earnings call in February. “Sometimes, you kill projects you don’t believe in. And, of course, you put new things in the pipeline that you do believe in that you have much more confidence in, and we’re doing all of that.”

Pixar’s next film set to hit theaters is “Inside Out 2,” slated for a June 14 release.

The Walt Disney Co. was up over 12% year over year as of Wednesday morning.

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