Disney studio Pixar considering workforce reduction

Adgully Bureau |

Walt Disney-owned Pixar Animation Studios is considering workforce reductions as it wraps up production on several streaming projects. The news, following recent layoffs at other Disney subsidiaries, raises questions about the future of the animation studio.

Rumours of a 20% staff cull swirled, but an insider close to the matter dismissed such speculation, emphasizing that the exact number of job cuts is still being determined. The source attributed the potential downsizing to a workforce surplus, built in anticipation of streaming productions that are now nearing completion. Pixar's Emeryville, California studio, reportedly expanded its staff to handle these projects, leaving redundancies once they finish.

The potential layoffs align with Disney CEO Bob Iger's broader shift towards prioritizing profitability in their streaming strategy. Rather than focusing solely on in-house productions, Disney seeks to control costs by acquiring content from external sources. This pivot echoes June 2023's layoffs at Pixar, which saw 75 positions eliminated, including executives tied to the underwhelming performance of "Lightyear."

Despite potential downsizing, the source assured that Pixar's theatrical releases remain unaffected. Further, while "Elemental," the studio's latest foray, had a shaky debut, it ultimately collected an impressive $500 million globally, suggesting continued box office appeal. Additionally, Disney's 2006 acquisition of Pixar revitalized the Disney Animation division, highlighting the studio's enduring value.

While the precise scope and impact of the potential job cuts remain unknown, the news casts a shadow of uncertainty over Pixar's future. Balancing cost control with creative freedom will be a delicate dance for the iconic animation studio as it navigates this new streaming landscape.