Pixar Canada

Pixar Canada
Subsidiary of Pixar
Fate Closed
Founded April 20, 2010 (2010-04-20)
Defunct October 8, 2013 (2013-10-08)
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Key people
Amir Nasrabadi (general manager)[1]
Dylan Brown (creative director)[1]
Darwyn Peachey (chief technical officer)[1]
Owner Walt Disney Pictures
Number of employees
100 (2013)[2]
Parent Pixar
Website www.pixarcanada.com

Pixar Canada was a wholly owned subsidiary of Pixar Animation Studios. It was located in Vancouver, British Columbia.[3] The studio was tasked to produce short films based on Pixar's feature film characters.[4]

In October 2013, Pixar Animation Studios permanently closed Pixar Canada and laid off its approximately 100 employees, to refocus Pixar's efforts at its main headquarters in Emeryville, California.[2]


Pixar Canada was founded in 2009[5][6] and officially opened on April 20, 2010 in Gastown area of Vancouver, British Columbia.[1] The location was chosen for tax incentive reasons, for Vancouver's computer-generated animation talent pool and for time zone compatibility with the Hollywood studio.[1] Studio's initial three-year plan was to produce animated short films based on established Pixar film characters,[1] to be shown in all of Disney-related businesses, including television, DVD compilations, internet, theme park attractions, and theatrical presentations.[3] Post-production and stereoscopic 3D work remained in the hands of the Pixar's main studio in California.[3]

Pixar Canada creative director Dylan Brown speaking in November 2009 at the Vancouver Film School's Animation & Visual Effects Campus.[5]

Disney was attracted to Vancouver's location because of tax incentives, and this closure comes in the wake of British Columbia incentives falling behind those offered by Ontario and Quebec. Pixar Canada produced a number of short films, including Air Mater, Small Fry and Partysaurus Rex since 2010. Pixar’s shorts have been a proving ground for new directors and concepts for the studio.[7]

The studio was built to develop animated shorts presenting Pixar characters which would be packaged with DVDs or featured on screens through its theme parks as a skillful way to draw attention away from long waits for rides. A company spokesperson said the work done in Vancouver would be transferred to the company’s headquarters in Burbank, California.[8]

The Vancouver animation establishment opened with much fanfare at 21 Water Street in 2010, with an approval to produce short films based on esteemed Pixar characters. The Vancouver company worked on layout, sets and characters, animation, effects, lighting and rendering departments. [9]

Viewers of the animation scene in Vancouver disregarded Pixar’s departure, suggesting the industry is robust enough in the province to easily absorb the displaced Pixar workers. Walt Disney Studios closed its Vancouver-based Pixar Canada studio leaving nearly 100 Pixar employees without a job three years after opening.[8]

When Pixar set in motion in British Columbia came the arrival of U.S. studios such as Digital Domain and Sony Pictures Imageworks, with Pixar touting Vancouver’s talent base, proximity and shared time zone with Los Angeles and a digital animation tax credit offered by the B.C. government. Provincial Jobs Minister Shirley Bond said that it is “disappointing” that Pixar is leaving the province, however, she saw the decision as tied to the company’s overall business strategy as opposed to the B.C. business climate.[8]


Short films


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Cooper, Sam (April 20, 2010). "Pixar Canada studio in Vancouver to produce short films". The Province. Archived from the original on June 27, 2010. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
  2. 1 2 "Pixar Canada shuts its doors in Vancouver". The Province. October 8, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 Sciretta, Peter (April 20, 2010). "Pixar Canada Officially Opens". Slash Film. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  4. Valiquette, Mike (April 5, 2010). "jobby: Animator, Supervising Animator, Pixar Canada, Vancouver". Canadian Animation Resources. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  5. 1 2 "Pixar Canada Creative Director Comes to VFS". Vancouver Film School. November 20, 2009. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  6. Giardina, Carolyn (May 7, 2009). "Disney/Pixar launching new studio". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  7. Cohen, Steve. "Pixar Canada Closed In Surprise Move, Disney Lays Off 100 Employees". Variety.
  8. 1 2 3 Ladurantaye, Steve; Bailey, Ian. "Pixar closes its Vancouver studio after 3 years". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  9. Schaefer, Glen. "Pixar Canada shuts its doors in Vancouver". The Province. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  10. 1 2 Gronvall, Andrea (November 27, 2012). "The Gronvall Files: To Canada (And Beyond?): PIXAR Canada Creative Director Dylan Brown". Movie City News. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  11. "2011 BCFC Film and TV Production Stats". BCFC. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  12. "Disney Supplement 2012". ToyWorld. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
  13. 1 2 3 "Films". Pixar Canada. Archived from the original on May 24, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  14. Bryko (March 14, 2014). "New 'Cars' Short Will Kick Off Second 'Cars Toons' Series". Upcoming Pixar. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
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