In the past week, Disney Lay off 75 employees at animation studio Pixarn, including some long-standing, high-ranking employees. This includes Angus MacLanethe 26-year Lightyear director and producer Galyn Susmanknown for “saving” Toy Story 2.
Massive job cuts at Disney
On the recent layoffs at Disney, which laid off 7,000 employees across the company were also belonged 75 posts to Pixar, marking the animation studio’s biggest job cuts since 2013. The restructuring plan originally announced by Disney CEO Bob Iger in February to combine the company’s film and television businesses and save $5.5 billion in costs went ahead on May 23. According to Reuters, Lightyear director Angus MacLane and longtime producer Galyn Susman – who credited saving 1999’s Toy Story 2 – were among those who have been fired from the animation studio’s 1,200-strong team.
So rettete Galyn Susman Toy Story 2
Back in 1998, when Toy Story 2 was still in production, almost all files from two years of work on the film were accidentally deleted. The catastrophe could not be remedied with the backups either, because it turned out that the backup cassettes had been full months ago and had been overwriting old data with new data for a long time. Not only was two years of work lost, but a huge budget as well.
In the midst of this calamity was Gayle Susman. The senior technical director, had had a child at the time and was working a lot from home where she had her own backups. This coincidence saved the film. Along with Pixar’s former chief technical officer, she shipped the $100 million cartridges in her Volvo and the rest is history. Deus-Ex-Machina-Susman had to say goodbye to the company along with many others.
Is Lightyear to blame for the layoffs?
The decision followed the “unsuccessful” release of Toy Story offshoot Lightyear in 2022, which grossed $226.7 million worldwide, just under its $200 million budget. Additionally, the film couldn’t be shown in 14 countries in the Middle East and Asia because it presents a same-sex relationship, which Reuters says “had an impact on the box office” and certainly didn’t sit well with Disney.
Realignment: Disney Plus and Hulu will soon be one
In addition to recent personnel decisions, Disney has also begun a removing a significant amount of content from Hulu and Disney Plusto offset the loss of 2.4 million subscribers on the latter streaming service. The two platforms are to be merged later this year.
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New Pixar movies coming
Despite the downsizing at Pixar, the famed animation studio still has some high-profile projects in the works. This includes animation films Elemental, which will be released on June 22, 2023 and, in typical Pixar fashion, brings us closer to the life of the elements. Furthermore should Toy Story 5 and Frozen 3 be in the works.