“Paperman” Director John Kahrs Breaks Silence About Leaving Disney

Oscar-winning Paperman director John Kahrs, who quit Walt Disney Animation Studios last week, gave the following statement to The Wrap about his decision to leave the company:

“I will miss working with them, and feel lucky to have played a part in the revitalization of the studio. They have an abundance of projects; an incredible development slate, but I’ve decided to develop my own projects and pursue directing elsewhere. It was very amicable — they were very gracious about that — and I believe we all left the door open.”

A Disney studio spokesperson also issued a response:

“John is an incredibly talented filmmaker and artist and all of us here at Walt Disney Animation Studios are proud of his vision for the stunning and innovative ‘Paperman. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”


  • Victor Da Silva

    That’s sweet. ;)

  • http://samfilstrup.tumblr.com/ Sam

    After all the bad shake ups hearing one where it supposedly ended on good terms is refreshing to hear. Hope Kahrs new projects pay off.

  • Dana B

    Good for him. I’m sure he has a great amount of ideas, though he may have left so he could “spread his wings” a bit more.
    And how knows, maybe Kahrs can work his expertise into projects with some amazing potential and bring a certain project back on a certain slate…

    (Ahem…Me and My Shadow. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?)

  • http://the-animatorium.blogspot.com/ Natalie Belton

    Best of luck, John!

  • G

    What if I told you for once, you should just to take this nice gesture of mutual respect at face value? Come on, man, it’ll make you smile.

  • Revy

    And here I thought John was actually going to SAY something. I’m glad he’s happy, though. I fully expect the next big thing in animation to come from any studio BUT Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks/BlueSky/etc. John probably knows that, too.

  • Strong Enough

    aka “I don’t want to work on the Frozen Trilogy”

  • Whole Lotta Nuthin

    I wouldn’t really call this “Breaking the Silence”… A better title to this post would be “John Kahrs makes his politically correct statement about leaving the studio, but honestly doesn’t reveal anything, because he’d like to not come off like a Douche by revealing the real reason.”

    • CG Animator

      Maybe his reason IS the real reason.

      I mean, God forbid he leaves on good terms with his employer and doesn’t talk crap about them! NO! HE MUST ACT BITTER AND RANT ABOUT HOW MUCH HE HATES DISNEY ANIMATION! Then it would be legit.

      • Axolotl

        More fun to read, anyway.

  • akira

    i want to see a “it gets better” video with these ex disney employees

  • Here’s Your Hat

    Translated: His Oscar win didn’t give him enough leverage to negotiate a higher salary or get his feature film idea greenlit by JL. Wouldn’t want him to get all uppity like those directors in the 90′s.

  • Jen Hurler

    So I’m guessing this means they wouldn’t let him try out the technological breakthroughs used on Paperman for a feature length film and the only way he can try that medium is to leave and either go elsewhere or do it himself..?

  • Giovanni Jones

    He’s entitled to his privacy, even if he may have other reasons.

  • jane

    I know why he left. It’s the same reason Glen Keane left: John (Ego) Lasseter. If you don’t agree with his tunnel-vision in creativity, you’re fired.

    This is very saddening, because Glen Keane disappeared from the industry as soon as he decided to go out on his own. The same will happen to Kahrs.

    (Now if only somebody can fire Andrew Stanton…)

  • Karen Krajenbrink

    If the news of mutual respect gives you diabetes, perhaps it’s time to step away from the internet for awhile.

  • Karen Krajenbrink

    I find it rather alarming that folks are sneering and snarking over the fact that both parties parted on good terms and then attempt to make drama out of something that has no drama in it. :/

    Best of luck Mister Kahrs. Looking forward to what you do in the future.