On the same day that Elemental received six Annie Award nominations, Techcrunch reported that Disney-owned Pixar would be cutting a ‘significant’ number of jobs in 2024.
Sources told Techcrunch that the layoffs could be as high as 20% of the studio’s 1,300-person workforce.
Emeryville, California-based Pixar confirmed Techcrunch’s report that layoffs will happen at some point, but disputed the publication’s numbers. A subsequent story this evening in Reuters quoted “a source familiar with the situation” who said that it was not yet determined how many people would be let go, nor was it known when they would be laid off. The Reuters source, who took a studio line and is likely a studio spokesperson, also said that the layoffs would not impact Pixar’s theatrical output.
Pixar did not immediately respond to Cartoon Brew’s email seeking elaboration. However, Cartoon Brew has reliably learned that Pixar does intend to keep staffing above 1,000 people and that the layoffs will not reach 20% of the studio.
An undisputed point in both the Techcrunch and Reuters stories is that the layoffs are primarily due to the extra people that Pixar hired to work on its Disney+ streaming projects, such as the upcoming Win or Lose. Those projects have now completed production and Disney CEO Bob Iger has curtailed investment in streaming until it becomes profitable, which he is “confident” will happen by the end of 2024.
Last spring, Pixar laid off 75 employees, which was the largest staff reduction in a decade. Today’s news confirms that downsizing efforts at the studio haven’t concluded and there will be more pain in 2024.
Disney will release Pixar’s next theatrical feature, Inside Out 2, on June 14.