PIXAR Shutters Canadian Studio

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Pixar-CanadaThree short years after open­ing it’s first satel­lite stu­dio in Van­cou­ver, Pixar announced that the stu­dio is to be shut down. The stu­dio was located in the Gas­town area of Van­cou­ver, which has seen a recent boon in ani­ma­tion shops that have recently moved to the Cana­dian town. “A deci­sion was made to refo­cus oper­a­tions and resources under the one roof,” said Dis­ney spokesper­son Barb Math­e­son from Toronto. Dis­ney is the par­ent com­pany of Pixar. Approx­i­mately 100 artists and employ­ees are now unem­ployed by this unex­pected news.

These artists worked pri­mar­ily on Pixar shorts and TV ani­ma­tion, such as Par­tysaurus Rex, Small Fry and many of the Cars Toons shorts. “As the dynam­ics of the ani­ma­tion indus­try con­tinue to change rapidly”, said Pixar in a printed state­ment. “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.”

There is no word on whether Pixar will move any of the artists from Canada to their main stu­dio in Emeryville, Cal­i­for­nia. Iron­i­cally, a local Van­cou­ver pub­lisher BCBusi­ness pub­lished a puff piece on the stu­dio just the day before the clos­ing titled, Inside Pixar Canada’s Offices.

The clo­sure seems con­trary to the rest of Vancouver’s grow­ing com­mu­nity of com­puter ani­ma­tion and effects com­pa­nies, all of which seem to be doing well in the city. Among other thriv­ing oper­a­tions are Rain­maker Enter­tain­ment (for­merly known as Main­frame Enter­tain­ment Stu­dios) and Sony Picture’s Cana­dian ani­ma­tion facil­ity, which had a key role in such recent hits includ­ing Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia, The Smurfs 2 and Oz the Great and Pow­er­ful.

This clo­sure also throws into ques­tion the sec­ond of two planned Toy Story TV spe­cials, the first, Toy Story of Ter­ror, was pro­duced in Emeryville, and will air on ABC next week. The sec­ond, as yet unnamed Toy Story spe­cial was to be com­pletely pro­duced at Pixar Canada, and air next spring on ABC.

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About Dave Koch

Editor and publisher of the Big Cartoon DataBase, Dave has been involved in cartoons since opening the Cartoon Factory animation art gallery in 1993. You may contact Dave here.

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