Director Bob Peterson exited The Good Dinosaur in August and now up to 60 employees at Pixar were let go because of the delay of the pic. Occurring earlier this week, the layoffs account for approximately 5% of Pixar’s 1,200 work force. This is just the latest twist in The Good Dinosaur tale. No replacement has been announced yet for Peterson and in September, the Disney-owned animated powerhouse moved back Dinosaur from a May 30, 2014 release to November 24, 2015 – leaving Pixar without a single movie coming out next year. Now, the fallout continues. “At Pixar, we are constantly re-evaluating the creative and business needs of our studio. With the release date change of The Good Dinosaur, we have realigned our production and support priorities, which includes a small reduction in our staffing levels,” said a Disney spokesperson in a statement Friday. Last month Disney shuttered Pixar Canada with nearly 100 jobs lost at the Vancouver animation studio.
The film of the backstory of the villain from the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale starring Angelina Jolie’s is coming out earlier now while the release date of Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur has been moved back a year and a half, Disney announced today. Avoiding a pile up with the World Cup plus Transformers 4 and Fast & Furious 7, Maleficent will now be out on May 30, 2014 as opposed to July 2. Taking Pixar’s only 2014 release off the calendar for that year, The Good Dinosaur is now moving from that May 30, 2014 date to November 24, 2015. Long awaited Nemo sequel Finding Dory has been moved to a June 17, 2016 release in 3D from its previous November 25, 2015 date, now occupied by Good Dinosaur. Undoubtedly related, director Bob Peterson exited Good Dinosaur late last month and no official single replacement has been announced. Other announcements and moves in Disney’s release schedule Wednesday see The Fifth Estate now moving to a wide release on October 18 from its previous limited status and the Kevin Costner-starring high school track pic McFarland getting a November 21, 2014 release.
D23: Disney Announces New Movies And Big Voice Castings, Offers Details On ‘Finding Nemo’ & ‘Planes’ Sequels
Diane Haithman is a Deadline contributor.
A new Disney Animation movie, big-name voice castings, a new Mickey Mouse short, details on the Finding Nemo and Planes sequels, two new Tinkerbell pics – there was no shortage of news during day 1 of Disney’s annual D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center. John Lasseter revealed Zootopia, due in 2016. It’s described as being in the tradition of Mr. Toad, where animals wear human clothes. “I loved those movies,” Lasseter said. Director Byron Howard and writer Jared Bush described Zootopia as “a buddy action film” in which the animal characters inhabit in a world where “humans never existed.”
Lasseter and company unveiled some boldfaced voice talent for a handful of upcoming projects. Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur will feature Raising Hope‘s Lucas Neff as star dino Arlo, John Lithgow as Poppa and Frances McDormand as Momma. Arlo’s siblings will be voiced by Hader, Judy Greer and Neil Patrick Harris. Lasseter said a new Monsters University short film, Party Central, will premiere ahead of Good Dinosaur when it’s released next summer. Fans at today’s panel got a sneak peak at the short, about what happens when the monsters try to throw a frat party.