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Disney Layoffs Hit Pixar Studios and Includes Long-Time Animator

Pixar Studios

As part of Disney CEO Bob Iger’s previously announced plan to eliminate 7,000 jobs at The Walt Disney Company, the cuts have reached Pixar Studios with 75 layoffs, including several executives and a long-time animator for the studio.

The Details

Among those laid off from Pixar Studios is Angus MacLane, director of the “Toy Story” spinoff, 2022’s “Lightyear.” He was also a 26-year animation veteran who was part of the creative team behind hits like “Toy Story 4,” “Incredibles 2,” and “Coco.”

Gayln Susman, a producer on “Lightyear,” who had been at Pixar since 1995, was also let go. She is the person who saved “Toy Story 2” by having a copy of the film at home after somehow 90% of it was accidentally deleted the film from Pixar’s files.

Lightyear + sox

Michael Agulnek, Pixar’s vice president of worldwide publicity since 2015, is another executive who has been laid off.

While small compared to Pixar’s employee base of about 1,200, the 75 layoffs are notable because the studio is a huge creative force generating franchises and characters that drive revenue across Disney, from films to theme parks and merchandising.

Upcoming projects at the studio include “Elemental,” which arrives in theaters in two weeks on June 16, 2023, and a planned sequel, “Inside Out 2,” due sometime in Summer 2024.

Disney acquired Pixar in 2006 as part its plan to revitalize Disney Animation, which at the time was coming off of lower box office revenues for films like “Home on the Range” and “Atlantis: The Lost Empire.”

Pixar Showcase at D23 Expo 2022 - Pete Docter

More Layoffs Coming

There are still more layoffs to the workforce coming. After completing its round of layoffs in the U.S., Disney is now looking internationally to make more cuts.

The elimination of those 7,000 positions reportedly represents approximately 3.2 percent of The Walt Disney Company’s worldwide staff of approximately 220,000 as of October 2022.

Iger’s plan also reportedly calls for slashing $5.5 billion in costs, and includes a restructuring that combined the film and television groups into a single Disney Entertainment unit, and eliminated a division charged with distribution.

We’ll let you know if we hear of any other notable names that are let go.