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 (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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.