Pixar “Restructuring” Cripples Disney

in Movies & TV, Pixar

Woody (Tom Hanks) in 'Toy Story'

Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios/Disney Pixar Animation Studios

If you’ve been keeping up with recent reports, you’ll know that Disney CEO Bob Iger is really bringing the hammer down at The Walt Disney Company, especially on a creative and corporate level. After putting multiple projects under the blade, it seems like Pixar is next on the chopping block.

The Pixar logo with characters
Credit: Pixar

It was recently announced that Disney’s sister studio would face massive layoffs as part of a new developmental movement. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the imaginative studio is set to undergo one of the biggest “restructurings” in the company’s history.

The report shared,

“Approximately 14 percent of Pixar’s workforce, or around 175 employees, will be let go. Before the reductions, approximately 1,300 people worked at the animation studio.”

“Pixar employees have known since January that layoffs were coming. If there’s some solace to be had, it’s that reductions are less than the 20 percent reported in January by some news outlets. Nor is Pixar being singled out.”

As stated above, the restructuring isn’t just affecting Pixar, neither is it the only cut being made by Disney as the studio trims the fat across multiple platforms and departments. Just as Iger pulls up on the leash at Disney, so has Pixar’s lead creator.

Related: How ‘Frozen 2’ and ‘Monsters At Work’ Are Now Connected

The report continues,

There were layoffs across all of Disney last year, but cuts at Pixar were delayed because of production schedules, sources say. Pixar — led by Pete Docter — will no longer be focusing on direct-to-streaming series, but on its feature films. That excludes ‘Win or Lose,’ which is set to debut later this year.

While this was an expected and announced development, Disney’s decision to overhaul Pixar might be the final nail in its coffin. As the saying goes, never kill the golden goose.

Pixar in Peril After Disney Flops

Asha (Ariana Debose) with her friends in shock.
Credit: Disney

It’s no secret that Disney is on the mend after a season of flops, leading to less-than-magical box office performances. Arguably beginning a steady decline with Strange World (2021), many of Disney’s latest contributions feel like they do a little more than just miss the mark. Even Wish (2023) failed to live up to expectations. So, what’s Pixar’s role in all of this?

Related: John Lasseter, Brad Bird, and Other Legends Start War with Disney

While it’s fair to say that many of Pixar’s recent releases haven’t’ exactly been Toy Story quality, the past few years have only been marred by one blemish. While Turning Red (2022) eventually found a better reception on Disney+, Lightyear (2022) ultimately caused Pixar to quiver.

Wade and Ember ride the subway in 'Elemental'
Credit: Pixar

That said, every cloud has a silver lining. Peter Sohn’s romantic comedy Elemental (2023) not only set things at Pixar back on track, but ended up being one of Disney’s biggest successes of 2023. Not only did Wade and Ember’s love story gross $496,444,308 worldwide, dwarfing Wish’s $254,997,360, but it was also the only Disney animated feature nominated for an Academy Award at the 2024 Oscars.

What Are They Thinking?!

Disney CEO Bob Iger collaged with Woody from Toy Story
Credit: Pixar/Apple TV+, edited by Inside the Magic

With those factors in mind, it feels not only counterproductive but (in all honesty) incredibly stupid that Disney would want to wound its biggest success. Given that Disney also recently announced its “Beyond Storytelling” campaign, it feels even more ludicrous that the company would want to do anything to hinder one of its most successful assets, built on a tremendous storytelling reputation.

Related: Canceled Marvel Series Moves to Rival Streaming App Amidst Disney+ Upheaval

Disney and Pixar might be going ahead with previously announced projects like Win or Lose, Inside Out 2, and an upcoming Toy Story sequel, but a sea of layoffs this big is bound to have some detrimental consequences. Removing 14% of the workforce responsible for Disney’s biggest saving grace is undoubtedly doing more harm than good.

Is Disney making a massive misstep? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!

in Movies & TV, Pixar

View Comment (1)