Disney is laying off around 175 Pixar workers as it pulls back on original streaming shows

The studio is set to once again focus solely on making movies for theaters.

Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar is losing around 175 of its workers amid a Disney cost-cutting drive. It was reported as far back as January that layoffs were planned for the digital animation pioneer and the studio's headcount is being reduced by around 14 percent.

According to The Guardian, the downsizing is part of moves to scale back on development of original shows and movies for Disney+ as the company tries to make its streaming division more profitable. As such, Pixar is expected to once again focus entirely on making theatrical feature films.

Although it was once an ultra-reliable hit factory, Pixar has had a rough go of things over the last few years. Disney has suggested it was a mistake to have "trained" viewers to expect that Pixar movies will eventually come to Disney+ (where it debuted Soul, Luca and Turning Red after Covid-19 prompted theater closures). That may have played a role in Toy Story spin-off Lightyear failing to meet box office expectations. While last year’s Elemental became a word-of-mouth hit after a slow start, it ultimately earned far less than many of previous Pixar smashes.

Pixar will be hoping it can start to turn the corner next month when it releases Inside Out 2, the sequel to one of its very best films. Disney’s animated division as a whole is focusing more on franchises — Toy Story, Frozen, Zootopia and Moana sequels are all set to arrive over the next few years.