It's a bit of a rough time for Pixar news right now; there'll be no film from the studio next year for the first time in nine years, and now the studio has announced that it's shuttering its Canadian branch, after only three years. About 100 employees will be getting laid off as a result of the closure.
Canadian news publication The Province reports the news, saying that the Vancouver-based satellite studio was closed to "concentrate [Pixar's] operations in Emeryville, California." Pixar Canada is closing effective immediately.
It's a wholly unexpected move, as Pixar Canada has been producing great quality animation; the studio has produced Cars and Toy Story short films. "The team at Pixar Canada has produced a wonderful slate of short films since opening in 2010, including Air Mater, Small Fry and Partysaurus Rex," said Pixar's statement. "As the dynamics of the animation industry continue to change rapidly, we continue to fine-tune our studio and its production processes. We have made the determination to refocus our creative and business efforts and resources under one roof. Pixar Canada will cease operations immediately."
"Staff were just told today," says Disney rep Barb Matheson. "Not great news, obviously. It was just a refocussing of efforts and resources to the one facility."
It sounds nihilistic to say it, but could this be in response to the reshuffling of Pixar's upcoming slate? If the creative problems on The Good Dinosaur (and possibly Finding Dory) are bad, then maybe all hands are needed on deck at Emeryville.
Sad news nonetheless, our thoughts and well wishes to all those affected.