A creative executive who has been a key player at Pixar since its first major feature, the 1995 release “Toy Story,” is leaving the company.
Deadline reports that director, film editor, screenwriter and animator Lee Unkrich announced today he’s headed out after 25 years with Pixar.
“The director won two Oscars during his run, for helming ‘Coco’ (last year) and 2010’s ‘Toy Story 3.’ He also co-directed Pixar smashes ‘Toy Story 2,’ ‘Monsters, Inc’ and ‘Finding Nemo,'” Deadline reports.
In a statement, Unkrich said: “I’m not leaving to make films at another studio; instead, I look forward to spending much-needed time with my family and pursuing interests that have long been back-burnered.”
The report quotes Pete Docter, who was named chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios after co-founder John Lasseter officially departed, saying: “Lee arrived at Pixar as we were crafting ‘Toy Story,’ and he’s had a profound effect on all Pixar films since. He literally taught us rookie filmmakers about staging, composition, and cutting. His artistry and expert craftsmanship as an editor and co-director became a major reason for the high quality of our filmmaking, and as Lee went on to direct, his ability to find the deep humor and emotion enabled him to create some of the strongest films we’ve made. He will be sorely missed — but we are enormously grateful for his tireless dedication to quality, and his ability to touch the hearts of audiences around the world.”