August 22, 2018

Pixar Co-Founder to Leave Disney After ‘Missteps’

But Rashida Jones, the actress and writer, said in November that she left a Pixar assignment early because of the way the studio treated female and minority employees.

“There is so much talent at Pixar, and we remain enormous fans of their films,” Ms. Jones and her writing partner, Will McCormack, said in a statement at the time. “However, it is also a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice.”

Ed Catmull, 73, a Pixar co-founder, remains president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios. Disney also has a deep bench of animation superstars, including the directors Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”), Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo”), Byron Howard (“Zootopia”) and Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”).

Disney could gain animation leaders from its pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets, which include Blue Sky Studios. Blue Sky, founded by a group of animation innovators including Chris Wedge, is known for the “Ice Age” franchise.

Because of his enormous creative input across the entertainment conglomerate, Mr. Lasseter has been heralded in the news media as a latter-day Walt Disney. And the company held Mr. Lasseter up as a celebrity.

At a D23 Expo fan event in 2015, for instance, there was a museum-style exhibit of 20 of his most prized Hawaiian shirts. (He has more than 1,000.)

In recent years, however, Mr. Lasseter has stumbled at times. Disney was forced to scrap “Gigantic,” an animated take on “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and took a $98 million write-down. “The Good Dinosaur” in 2015 was a box office failure, and “Cars 2” in 2011 was Pixar’s first critical dud.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/08/business/media/john-lasseter-leaves-disney.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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