Pixar Canada Closes its Doors

Pixar Canada Logo

It is with much sadness that we report that Pixar’s sister studio located in Vancouver, British Columbia, has permanently closed its doors today (Oct. 8, 2013). Pixar Canada was founded back in the Spring of 2010 with a team of nearly 100 employees – all who were dedicated to creating Pixar short films, such as the popular Toy Story Toons – Small Fry and PartySaurus Rex, just to name a few.

Pixar Canada Film Logos

The breaking news was posted in an article by The Province with Barb Matheson (a spokesman for Disney) stating “A decision was made to refocus operations and resources under the one roof” – that one roof being Pixar’s main studio located in Emeryville, California.

The article also included a portion of an official statement released by Pixar:

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.

Additionally, Variety also speculated that the closure may be due to the recent tax changes that the British Columbian province has put in place. In early interviews, senior Pixar employees noted the importance of the tax incentives and the wealth of talent that they could pull from in the Vancouver area. Unless the tax incentive changes were drastic, we can’t imagine that would be the sole reason – but it may have played a part.

In looking into the tax changes a bit more (source – B.C. Provincial Budget Tax Changes — UPDATED: Link removed as it is no longer active), it appears that the corporate tax rate was originally set to rise to 11% (from 10%) in April of 2014, but a change noted that the rate would increase a year earlier in April of 2013. Keep in mind that Pixar Canada may not have been paying the existing 10% rate currently as new businesses are often given tax incentives as a way to attract new companies to the area. It could be that their existing, larger tax credits were expiring and Vancouver was no longer able to offer them a sizable enough credit to keep Emeryville satisfied with the deal. Again, these are only speculations that we are exploring based on the Variety article and we certainly don’t claim any of this to be the reason that Pixar Canada has closed.

Pixar Canada Logo

We have always been fond of Pixar Canada and its quaint qualities that mirror the larger Emeryville studio in its earlier days. Although the studio may have been smaller in scale, the quality of the work was always astounding. We certainly can say that the talented team at Pixar Canada will be missed – they were an amazing group of people that were extremely kind and supportive, and they will be sorely missed in our eyes.

Change is never easy when a company as beloved as Pixar makes changes along these lines. It seems rash at times, but we must never lose sight of the fact that our emotional response as outsiders cannot trump the response of those employees who have lost their jobs and feel the sting of this news personally. We hope to continue to learn more about the closure of Pixar Canada over the coming days and will update everyone as we learn more.

Share your thoughts and reaction to this news with us on The Pixar Post Forum – we’ll be discussing this news in our upcoming podcast and would love to include excerpts of your feeling and reactions as well.

Comments 11
  1. As someone who has had the experience of living in both the Bay Area and Vancouver, I can say this is particularly heartbreaking. Many of my good friends at University had hoped to work at Pixar Canada and will now have to wait to get a US visa. I can understand why they need to do it, I just wish there was another way.

  2. Agreed – this impacts many people across the board and certainly adds an extra layer of complexity in Canadians looking to work at Pixar. I wish there was another way as well and I certainly hope we hear more about the rationale soon. – T.J.

  3. This is such sad and unexpected news. The quality of the work from Pixar Canada was outstanding, and the people who worked their seemed friendly and so skillful. I hope that some of them are offered positions to stay with Pixar in Emeryville. It would be sad to see such great people and talent lost from Pixar.I wonder if in between the tax credit changes and the new Brooklyn building, if Pixar decided it was better to consolidate. What does this mean for the future of Toy Story Toons and the other short films? Will those type of projects continue, just in Emeryville?

  4. I completely agree with your comments that I hope some of these great Pixar employees are offered positions at Pixar in California – it would be a shame to lose so much talent. Also, we agree with you that there are so many questions still in the air regarding the shorts, Toons and how this will look over time.

  5. Is it just me or does this news feel like a punch to the gut? I applaud you once again for the way you handled this news that is no doubt SHOCKING! I'm sure that the executives at Disney and Pixar had a hard time making this decision and like you said change is never easy but I can't help but feel for the employees surprised by the news. It's weird because I feel like Pixar Post was very much a part of Pixar Canada – I feel bad because the only reason I knew of the Canadian studio was because of all your coverage with Partysaurus Rex and now that the studio is closed I feel that I will miss out on any other great projects they were working on.

  6. Thank you again so much Derrick! That is really amazing that you thought of us as part of Pixar Canada due to the Partysaurus Rex connection. Believe me, Julie and I are deeply saddened by this news because of that Partysaurus Rex connection. The folks at that studio were so kind to us and really were supportive of what we were doing with our custom Rex as well. The talent will be sorely missed and the hope that a young Pixar studio brought to so many will be missed equally. Thanks as always Derrick!- T.J.

  7. This comment makes us laugh and tear up at the same time. It's amazing how much we connected with Pixar Canada because of the amazing short, Partysaurus Rex – you guys produced an amazing short that we fell in love with like non other before it. The details and technical elements are astounding…just look at those suds in the bathtub!We are so sad to see the studio go and to think about all the affected people really puts a lump in our throat. We know that with the talent that the Pixar Canada team had everyone will land on their feet, but it's just a shame nonetheless. Thank you for taking the time to comment here and please know that we're truly thinking of everyone there and wish we could have seen more from what the Pixar Canada team could have produced. Even though the location will become fragmented as everyone goes off to their new adventures, we sure hope we can stay in touch and follow along with everyone's new journey.Thanks for the memories – rest assured that what the team produced during the Studio's three years will live on for eternity now that it's solidified by theatrical releases, televisions releases, BluRay/DVD/Digital releases and more!Respectfully – T.J. Wolsos – Pixar Post

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