Employees Depart Pixar Animation Studios With Grace – UPDATED

Toy Story 3 Goodbye Concept Art

Working at Pixar Animation Studios is not only a dream job for many fans of the studio but for its employees as well. Although this dream burns bright, a new or different adventure sometimes calls to us with intense fervor. Recently, a few employees have chosen to depart from the studio to pursue a series of new adventures and we wanted to pay homage to their amazing contributions within Pixar – and who knows, maybe they’ll find themselves back at Pixar one day.

DICE TSUTSUMI

Dice Tsutsumi (Pixar Art Director) announced on his Facebook page that “after 7 years of a dream-come-true time of my life, I decided to leave Pixar Animation Studios to pursue new adventures with yet another former Pixar artist Robert Kondo.” Dice continued to express his admiration and gratitude for the studio stating that Pixar was “one of the single most creative environments any artists/filmmakers could ever wish for. It was literally the dream job and I am leaving at the height of my career…” 

Below is the goodbye note that Tsutsumi sent to his friends, co-workers and fans:


Subject : I’d like to thank you all—-Today is my last day

Time : July 11th 2014 

When I graduated from high school in Tokyo, I left my country behind to start new life in the U.S.

I had no idea what I got myself into at the time especially since I spoke no English and didn’t even know what I wanted to study. (I knew nothing about art!).

People often ask me if I like America better as I ended up staying here the next 20 years.

I look back now and I realize it was not a matter of preference between Japan and US.

What mattered the most was the “change” I made in my life. It taught me so much about what it means to live in the fast changing, diverse international society today.

Interestingly, my love for Japan actually grew more after I left Japan because I can see the beauty of my culture from outside. I proudly carry my Japanese heritage to this day while I adapted the culture in the United States. 

I am certain that is what it’s going to happen after I leave Pixar, the most creative environment on earth that I will miss so dearly.

One thing I learned from you guys at Pixar is that I shall not be afraid of taking risks. I’ll live and work like a Pixarian even after I leave the gate behind today.

Hope this isn’t a break up. I rather see it as a child leaving for college to learn from his own failures in the outside world. I see Pixar as my parents and I hope to use everything I learned here to survive out there.

My dream is that I come back to work with you again someday and apply whatever I learn from this dark, scary and dangerous jungle of “unknown.” 

Until then….with sincere gratitude

Dice Tsutsumi


What a wonderful and humble way to say goodbye. It also speaks to the bravery that is required to move on from a dream in pursuit of a new dream – I think we can all learn from this.

ROBERT KONDO

In addition to Dice’s departure, Robert Kondo (Pixar Art Director) announced his goodbye via Instagram, taking a shot of the Pixar Animation Studio gates with the caption “Bye for now #LastDay”. While it is uncertain if the pair will return to the studio, Kondo and Tsutsumi have announced that they have started their own creative house, Tonko House. We are certainly looking forward to following their next career step as the two have certainly had an amazing collaboration both at Pixar (Monsters University) and outside of Pixar with their short, The Dam Keeper.

If you’re a frequent reader of our site, you know that we’ve always had a special place for Robert as Julie was able to interview him at the Monsters U press event at the studios. Additionally, at the Monsters U charity event, we won the silent auction for Robert’s piece of the MU library.

SASCHKA UNSELD

Saschka Unseld Pixar

The visionary master of The Blue Umbrella, Saschka Unseld (Pixar Director)recently posted a series of closeup images on his Instagram account, saying goodbye to his office, the Pixar ball, and, our favorite of the bunch – a video (embedded below) with the tagline, “Signing off“. Like most things that you read online, the first reaction we had to Saschka’s departure (along with the other Pixaraians) was sadness – it’s not a good thing to see some of your favorite artists leaving a studio you love.

TEDDY NEWTON

Since we don’t have any official word on this, we’ll state that it seems likely that Teddy Newton has left Pixar some time ago. The rumors have been flying for quite some time about this, but in a tweet from Lino DiSalvo (previously the head of animation on Disney’s Frozen), he mentioned he was touring the Paramount Animation lot with Teddy Newton and John Kahrs (previously with Pixar and director of Disney’s Paperman) – in fact, Lino has since officially announced that he has joined Paramount Animation. We feel that between this photo and the previous rumors that the news seems to line up to support Newton’s departure from the studio.

Teddy Newton leaves Pixar

Paramount Animation has stated that they are looking to create a world-class animation studio and with recent acquisitions like this, it certainly seems to support that they are moving forward headstrong in an attempt to achieve that goal.


I feel that we can all relate to some degree when we are faced with the challenges of making a difficult decision of leaving the known to pursue the unknown. Change is never easy. We wish nothing but the best for each of these former Pixarians as their work continues to inspire and captivate us. Good luck to all.

“Our fate lies within us. You only have to be brave enough to see it”

Merida – Brave

EVERETT DOWNING

UPDATED – It should also be noted that Bobby Rubio mentioned on Instagram that Everett Downing has moved on as well. Everett was in the news last year for his 365 Supers project where he committed to creating 365 unique superheroes. According to Rubio’s photo, Everett has moved to Dreamworks Animation – although we’re not sure when he made the transition.

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  1. Are you referring to the \”love lounge\”…which was office #577.1? That secret office that was through the a vent in Andrew Gordon's old office. He has since moved to a new office so I'm not sure if anyone is in that office any longer or if they keep it clear because so many VIPs visiting Pixar go there on tours.

  2. I have always wondered what the employee turnover rate is at Pixar…like most huge Pixar fans, it is so hard to wrap my mind around the idea that someone would ever want to leave the studio! With that said, I agree with your statements that we all face choices in pursuing the unknown and Pixar movies often carry an \”adventure\” theme and I love that these former Pixarians are pursuing their creative dreams. When my husband walked away from his steady, salaried position to open our design studio 4 years ago, we had no idea what we were in for, but the journey and growth we have both experienced has been incredible. The news is truly bittersweet.

  3. They will all be missed. I enjoyed learning their names and searching for them in the credits, but know we can look for new names in the credits of life. I will miss Teddy Newton most.

  4. Great summary. They will all be missed. For me I will miss Dice's amazing artwork. Longtime Pixarian Craig Good also left somewhat recently, I think early this year or maybe late last year.

  5. Seems to be that Teddy has had the most direct impact on many based on feedback we've received and comments so far. I think this has to be reflected by the fact that his short Day and Night was so revolutionary and matched the Pixar style so well!

  6. Agreed for sure – you're also correct about Craig Good leaving within the last year (I believe late last year is correct). Certainly another brilliant mind that has moved on to pursue new adventures!

  7. Very sad to hear, I loved Teddy Newton especially. But I suppose it was the right decision for them. Looking forward to see what projects they work on in the future. It's sad yet very cool to see Pixar people go and start projects of their own.

  8. Wow – what a great personal story to pair up & draw comparisons to. Sometimes, the unknown is the better choice – even if Pixar is beloved…you're still not the master of your own projects and complete vision there. If that's what you're seeking, then you would have to think about moving on. I've often wondered about the turnover as well. i'd suspect that it's lower than other companies because of the overall culture that they attempt to foster, but like any business people come and go.

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