Pixar Lays Off Dozens of Employees Due to “Good Dinosaur” Problems

Pixar has laid off dozens of employees due to its troubled film project The Good Dinosaur, a source told the LA Times. The layoffs reportedly affect less than 5% of the company’s staff of 1,200, which could mean anywhere up to 60 employees.

“At Pixar, we are constantly re-evaluating the creative and business needs of our studio,” a company representative said. “With the release date change of The Good Dinosaur, we have realigned our production and support priorities, which includes a small reduction in our staffing levels.”

Last August, the studio removed director Bob Peterson from the film, and a month later, they pushed back the film’s release date by 18 months. They have yet to announce a replacement director.


  • Dana B

    One little slip up and people get the adios. I guess that’s what you get when you have noting to put out for a year. The wonderful world of animation, at its finest…

    • IJK

      Try the “wonderful world of business”.

  • Tres Swygert

    This is very frustrating to hear, especially when everyone worked very hard for a project that is not meeting up to the Brain Trust’s standards. I do hope the recent laid off employees find work soon, and that there will be solutions to this project problem soon as well.

  • khan8282

    On one hand I find myself wondering how bad this movie could possibly be, and on the other I think of all the mediocre animated features that will be released while it’s being reworked.

  • Mitchekie

    It’s such a shame that, when troubles arise, it is the artists and other hard-working employees that get the boot. Gotta love such an insensitive, clean-cut remark as “a small reduction in our staffing levels” to serve as a brief explanation for cutting off the payroll of their employees, some (possibly many) of those with families. My sympathies go out to those whom have been laid off. Here’s hoping they already had another position aligned for themselves before the rope was cut.

    • IJK

      “It’s such a shame that, when troubles arise, it is the artists and other hard-working employees that get the boot.”

      As opposed to who… The higher-ups who run the company? So when the higher-ups hire people to make a story work and they don’t do it… You think they’re going to fire themselves, or the people who are unable to get the story to work?

      Would you prefer it if the cleaning staff got the boot? This is unfortunate but it makes sense, given that’s how a business works.

      • Mitchekie

        Let me rephrase that: “It’s unfortunate that said people suffer the consequences”, although that’s only to be expected anyway. I am aware that this is how a business works. Doesn’t make it a happy occasion, either way.

  • http://www.studiomiguel.com Studiomiguel

    Just remake Iron Giant with a dinosaur.

    • GS

      And Iron Giant could have been seen as a remake of E.T. with a robot.

      • johnV

        And E.T. could have been a remake of Aliens… wait that didn’t work. Nevermind I like Iron Giant!

        • ShouldBeWorkin’

          THey’re the Boy & His Dog theme.

  • George Comerci

    Nothing but bad news for this film…all I can say is that I hope it works out….Pixar’s definately going through a rut right now….all I can do is hope that Pixar will return to its genius roots soon :)

  • Pedro Nakama

    Problems? They don’t have a story.

    • fbt

      yup, they ran out of ideas

  • laura

    i was JUST at a convention with a long-time animator there saying pixar budgets so that even when they’re not working on something urgent, they don’t have to lay people off right away. he was saying how some employees were getting unnecessarily nervous. GUESS NOT!

  • tredlow

    This movie had better be worth it.

  • Mapache

    Is not like you have a job in a huge animation studio; It’s more like you have a job in a major hollywood release.

  • Toonio

    This project will get cancelled and they’ll push Finding Dory instead.

  • Revy

    I don’t know how to take all these delays on The Good Dinosaur. No one does, really. It could mean the movie is pretty bad, or it could mean it’s good but they want to make it GREAT. Who knows.

    Personally, I would like it to be great, since I fear that they are shying away from original material in favor of more sequels. If they end up canceling this whole project, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Toy Story 4, Incredibles 2, or Cars 3 rushed into production.

    • canimal

      Ah but it seems with Pixar it doesnt really matter if the movie is good, bad, or great, with the obvious exception being Cars. Odds are it will still be financially successfull and there will still be people pretending its great regardless. Im getting Brave/MU flashbacks…

      • George_Cliff

        I think this may be the core of the problem. The Pixar luster has worn thin and the spell they had held everyone, including critics, under is beginning to fade. Looking at the quality and reception of their last two films, the Pixar “brain” should be rethinking a thing or two.
        That said, my condolences to those losing their job and my sincerest hope that they find new and better situations.

  • John F A

    You know this isn’t exactly a new experience with Disney. The studio has a long history of films that started out with high hopes as a feature, but for whatever reason, the story people couldn’t come up with eighty minutes worth of material. This happened with Bongo, The Wind in the Willows, Mickey and the Beanstalk, even Winnie the Pooh. Why not just rework what they have into a satisfactory featurette and then move on ?

    • Tatiana Riabouchinska

      You mean like WALL-E?

    • Aaron R.R.R. Nance

      To your point Walt tried pretty hard to develop a Rapunzel feature but couldn’t get it to work. Disney eventually revisited that story resulting in ‘Tangled.’ Disney also has a history of stopping a project that is in full swing, re-evaluating the film, then recommencing production. If memory serves Walt wasn’t happy with how Pinocchio was progressing and stopped development on it in order to rework the look. The result was/is a masterpiece. So it goes both ways. Taking a step back to get the lay of the animated land can result in a better movie too. And for what it’s worth Pixar has canned at least one movie that for whatever reason they just didn’t feel was viable (i.e. ‘Newt’).

    • SarahJesness

      Pixar doesn’t like to release just whatever. Judging by their track record, they clearly set very high standards for themselves.

  • Funkybat

    If we ever learn that, it will probably be after it has come to Blu-Ray. I still haven’t heard what exactly was so off with Ratatouille that Jan Pinkava had to be thrown out and Brad Bird brought in. I would love to know what it was shaping up to be, just to contrast it with the final film.

  • DynasPita

    geh…..this business…is truly scary.

  • Ed Williams

    This happens to every single company no matter what. You hit a point where you plateau and seemingly run out of ideas. Perhaps they need to move forward with producing films where lead characters are that of color. That would be a challenge for them. Mostly all the characters in their movies are White. Dip into a new culture—explore their tall-tales and stories. There’s so much material out there that has been fossilized. I understand wanting to create original material, but when you’re always after originality you’ll hit a wall at some point. Its in our human element to get inspired by others and the things around us. Hopefully they’ll find their way back. I’m still waiting on an Incredibles 2.

    • ocelotish

      “Mostly all the characters in their movies are White.”

      Mostly their characters are non-human if you want to get technical. Baring sequels we have Toy Story (half-white, half non-human), A Bug’s Life (non-human), Monsters Inc (non human with a side of Asian toddler), Finding Nemo (non-human), Incredibles (mainly white), Cars (non-human), Ratatouille (half non-human, half-white), WALLE (really non-human), Up (half white but unusually old, half half-Asian), brave (white).

      Sorry, I’m not not seeing some sort of horrible trend there.

      • Ed Williams

        All their movies with humans in them are White.

        Did that make it better for you?

        Because my point is still pretty accurate. If you need help seeing the trend feel free to Google me Pixar characters of color. I’ll sit here and wait.

        • TKeen

          This is a stupid argument because it puts white filmmakers in a no-win situation. If they make movies with white characters or European themes, they’re racist. If they make movies with non-white characters or African/Asian/Native American themes, they get accused of ‘cultural appropriation’. There was a huge fuss when ‘Pocahantas’ came out, and also ‘Mulan’, where Disney was accused of highjacking other cultures’ stories and messing them up. Bottom Line: Stop whining about other peoples’ films and make some yourself, if you feel that strongly.

  • spongeblog

    The movie looks crappy and is not worth going with. Fox, Dreamworks and Weinstein can make 100 enjoyable animated films in the time it takes for Disney to come plodding out with Dinosaurs, Finding Nemo sequel and that ancient Hawaiin flick. Universal has found succes with Despicable Me. Disney. Nothing wrong with making a Frozen or Incredibles sequel, just saying