The quality of Pixars 10 films has never really been a matter of debate. Now at a film-per-year pace, Pixar has prioritized class over quantity, and a new film bearing the studio's brand is treated as an event.
Though Disney has only owned Pixar outright since 2006, the two had earlier struck a distribution agreement, and first released "Toy Story" in 1995. Since the delivery of that groundbreaking box office smash, the computer animation powerhouse has released nine additional films, while Disney has produced more than 15 animated films on its own.
With successes such as " Wall-E," "The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille," which introduced filmgoers to unlikely heroes and immersive, unpredictable worlds, Pixar has so influenced the state of animated films that Pixar principals Ed Catmull and John Lassetter now oversee Disney's animation empire.
Since the purchase of Pixar, Disney continues to release animated films under its own banner, although a Pixar influence, it can be argued, is increasingly visible. It was nearly impossible to find a review of 2008's Bolt without critics comparing it to the work of Pixar, with many noting that it was good, but not quite on a Pixar level. Is that a bit unfair? Its hard to meet expectations when a film is being compared to a once-a-year occurrence.
Granted, Disney has released some flicks were all better off forgetting ("Dinosaur"), but also some that wed be wise to revisit ("Treasure Planet") and some that are already considered classics ("Lilo and Stitch"). So lets take a closer look at what Disney has accomplished when working outside the Pixar umbrella and see how it ranks in the Pixar oeuvre.
Compiled by Todd Martens, Jevon Phillips, Hanh Nguyen, Emily Christianson and Patrick Day
Pixar Animation Studios has laid off an undisclosed number of people at its Emeryville, Calif., headquarters due to the delay of its forthcoming film "The Good Dinosaur."
The layoffs affect less than 5% of the company's 1,200-person workforce, according to a source close to the studio.
In September, "The Good Dinosaur" was pushed back from its original release date of May 30, 2014, to Nov. 25, 2015.
About a month before the project was delayed, the studio, a unit of Walt Disney Studios, removed director Bob Peterson from the project.
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"At Pixar, we are constantly re-evaluating the creative and business needs of our studio," a Pixar 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."
"The Good Dinosaur" is based on the premise that an asteroid never hit Earth, causing the creatures and humans to live together.
The project is being retooled, but Pixar has not named a replacement for Peterson.
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Delaying the film has left Pixar without a movie for 2014. In September, Ed Catmull, president of Pixar, told The Times, "Nobody ever remembers the fact that you slipped a film, but they will remember a bad film. Our conclusion was that we were going to give the [dinosaur] film some more time."
In October, the animation studio closed Pixar Vancouver Studios, resulting in about 80 layoffs.
“The team at Pixar Canada is incredibly talented and we are so proud of the excellent work we have produced there. However, as we look at the creative and business needs of our studio, we’ve made the decision to refocus our efforts and resources under one roof in Emeryville and will be closing the studio in Vancouver,” a Pixar representative said in October.
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