Disney’s Pixar Is in Trouble

Toy Story toys running across street under cones
Credit: Disney

Fan favorite animators of Toy Story (1995) and CoCo (2017) could be facing a new challenge after the third round of layoffs in The Walt Disney Company.

Companywide layoffs, which began on March 27, 2023, have ended. Just ahead of summer, Disney released 7,000 employees. Pixar employees are among those let go. Pixar was acquired by Disney in 2006, and according to The New York Post, “The last time Pixar cut jobs was in 2013”.

Miguel and Dante in Coco

Credit: Disney

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The layoffs come as no surprise in Bob Iger’s return as CEO of The Walt Disney Company. He announced a cost-cutting strategy in an effort to achieve huge savings of $5.5 billion. Furthermore, the cuts are amid the reorganization creating three core business segments. Those will be Disney Entertainment, ESPN, and Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products.

Variety stated, “They focused mainly on the media divisions and left the parks largely untouched.”

Of the 75 employees laid off from the Pixar, Producer Galyn Susman, and Director of Lightyear (2022) Angus MacLane were let go. Angus, an employee for 26 years, worked on a fan favorite, CoCo. Susman is famous for being the person who “saved” Toy Story 2 (1999).

Saving Toy Story 2

The Pixar film was released on November 24, 1999. During the production period, it was accidentally deleted by an animator cleaning up files. The work deleted was two years’ worth of animation. Although backup tapes were common, they did not have all the necessary data. Undoubtedly, the team was in for a lot more hard work.

Woody scared in Toy Story

Credit: Disney

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Technical Director (at the time) Gayle Susman was working from home after the birth of her new child. As a result, she had her own backups. As you can predict, those backups saved the day. Unquestionably, she helped the team move forward with fewer delays than starting over.

Nevertheless, the Pixar movie was saved. Subsequently, leadership didn’t love the film, and many parts had to be redone anyway.

About Sarahfina LoFaso

Sarahfina is an author, and adjunct professor with a passion for writing and of course, all things Disney! Cinderella is her favorite princess and movie, both the animated and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1997 version. In close second place is Hercules, tied with Saving Mr. Banks. Sarahfina enjoys writing about the history of Walt Disney and all the parks, along with food, dining, and resorts. Her favorite ride is the Tower of Terror, and her favorite restaurant right now is the San Angel Inn, in EPCOT. Most importantly, her must-have snack every Disney trip is the controversial turkey leg, because it reminds her of her family trips as a kid with her grandparents.