Report: ‘Lightyear’ Director Angus MacLane And Veteran Producer Galyn Susman Among Walt Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios Layoffs
Lightyear was Disney and Pixar's cinematic dive into progressive politics. A year later, their gamble has them going full tilt.
Lightyear was Disney and Pixar’s cinematic dive into progressive politics. A year later, their gamble has them going full tilt.
One year ago, Pixar employees used Disney Lightyear as a vehicle to promote LGBTQ values in a children’s film…one year later, they have been let go. Last year, Lightyear director Angus MacLane lashed out at critics who compared his failing movie to Universal’s Minions: The Rise of Gru in an attempt to point the finger at critics for his movie’s woes.
This year, he is out of a job.
Films such as Lightyear, Strange World, Amsterdam, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania have been massive box office flops, prompting The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger to devise a plan aiming to slash 5.5 billion dollars in costs by eliminating 7,000 jobs from its international workforce as a means to balance their books in 2023.
As part of Iger’s plan to cut costs, MacLane and veteran Pixar producer Galyn Susman, who has been with the company since the original 1995 Toy Story film, were fired as part of the layoffs, sources told Reuters.
The downfall of Disney began with their public war with Florida Governor Rob DeSantis over the Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which bans the teaching of sexuality and transgenderism to children between kindergarten and third grade.
Subscribe and get our daily emails and follow us on social media.
By opting in, you agree to receive emails with the latest in Comic Culture from Bounding Into Comics. Your information will not be shared with or sold to 3rd parties.
Pixar employees used their war with DeSantis to market Lightyear and promote LGBTQ values, which included a same-sex kiss between two women — one of whom, at one point in the film, gets pregnant without the presence of a male in the relationship.
This didn’t sit well with parents, who ultimately opted not to take their children to the movie. The backlash to this particular scene caused Lightyear star Chris Evans to throw a temper tantrum and condemn those who opposed it.
“The real truth is those people are idiots,” said the actor at the time. “There’s always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before. But those people die off like dinosaurs.”
Unsurprisingly, Evans’ comments rubbed consumers the wrong way.
This turned out to be a fatal error in marketing as Disney’s Lightyear turned out to be a financial fiasco, grossing a mere $118.3 million at the domestic box office and $100.4 million internationally for a disappointing global gross of $218.7 million.
With a production budget of $200 million, Lightyear was, by all accounts, a box office failure for Pixar and The Walt Disney Company.
Disney has suffered multiple box office bombs over the course of the last year as audiences are fleeing away from the House of Mouse as a brand that can be trusted with their children.
The news doesn’t get any better for Disney which has reportedly sunken over 200 million dollars in production costs for their upcoming film Elemental.
The Wrap reports that box office projections for Elemental rank the upcoming animated film among Pixar’s lowest box office releases with a mediocre 40 million on it’s opening weekend — even worse than 2022’s Lightyear, which reportedly lost over 100 million with the same production budget.
Disney is currently looking at making more financial cuts to their international organization — reportedly expecting to lay off up to 2,500 employees — meaning that the financial bloodletting is far from over at the House of Mouse.
What are your thoughts of the firings at Pixar as a result of disastrous box office performances?