Disney studio Pixar poised to cut jobs, number undecided -source

(Reuters) -Walt Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios is set to cut jobs as the studio has completed production on some shows and now has more staff than it needs, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

TechCrunch reported earlier that Pixar was set to undergo layoffs as high as 20% this year, with the studio’s team of 1,300 people reduced to under 1,000 over the coming months.

The source disputed that number and said Pixar was yet to determine how many employees would lose their jobs, and that the layoffs were not imminent. The person did not provide an estimate of how many job cuts the studio expected but said they would not impact Pixar’s theatrical output.

Pixar’s Emeryville studio in California had hired staff to complete streaming series and as those shows complete production it has more staff than it needs, the source added.

Disney did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Disney CEO Bob Iger, who was brought back in 2022 to turn the company around, has signaled the company will reduce streaming content it makes itself in a bid to keep a lid on costs, and will license shows and movies from third parties.

In June last year, Pixar eliminated 75 positions including those of two executives behind box office disappointment “Lightyear”, Reuters reported, in what was at the time the studio’s first significant job cuts in a decade.

Pixar is famous for cinematic franchises including “Toy Story”, “The Incredibles” and “Finding Nemo”. Opening of its movie “Elemental” last year was slow, but the romantic comedy where the four classical elements – fire, water, earth and air – coexist, went on to bring in nearly $500 million in worldwide ticket sales.

Disney acquired Pixar in 2006 to revitalize its struggling Disney Animation.

(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski Los Angeles, and Savyata Mishra and Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel, Sayantani Ghosh and Rashmi Aich)