Pixar Canada, the Vancouver-based extension of Pixar Animation Studios, will shut down immediately, reports Canadian source The Province.
The studio opened in 2010 under the leadership of Pixar veteran Dylan Brown. It existed as a vehicle for Pixar to focus on its legacy characters for shorts and spinoffs, namely characters from Toy Story and Cars. Pixar Canada’s now-brief roster included the Toy Story Toons Small Fry and Partysaurus Rex, the Cars Toons Air Mater and Time Travel Mater, and three 1.5-minute Tales from Radiator Springs vignettes.
Nearly 100 employees will be let go with the closure as Pixar seeks to “refocus [its] creative and business efforts and resources under one roof” at its headquarters in Emeryville, California, a Pixar statement read.
While one of the initial reasons for starting Pixar Canada was to make television specials, it’s curious that Toy Story of Terror, which premieres October 16 on ABC, was actually made by the Emeryville team, not Canada.
It is sad whenever talented, hard-working animators are put out of work. However, hopefully the transition will help improve the quality of future Pixar productions.
What is not clear is perhaps the most intriguing question of all: Does this mean the mission itself of Pixar Canada is scrapped, or that that goal is just moving to a different location with a different set of animators? Specifically, does this mark the end of the Toy Story and Cars franchises for the near future? That’s what I’d love to know.