Pixar Canada

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Pixar Canada
Company typeSubsidiary
FoundedApril 2009; 15 years ago (2009-04) (established)
April 20, 2010; 13 years ago (2010-04-20) (opened)
DefunctOctober 27, 2013 (2013-10-27)
Key people
Amir Nasrabadi (general manager)[1]
Dylan Brown (creative director)[1]
Darwyn Peachey (chief technical officer)[1]
Number of employees
100 (2013)[2]

Pixar Canada (stylized as P I X A R – C A N A D A) was a short-lived, 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]

Pixar Animation Studios permanently closed Pixar Canada in October 2013, and laid off its approximately 100 employees to refocus Pixar’s efforts at its main headquarters in Emeryville, California.[2] The former studio space is currently Industrial Light & Magic’s studio in Vancouver.[5]


Pixar Canada was established in April 2009,[6][7] and officially opened on April 20, 2010 in the area of Gastown, 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 main studio in California.[1]

The studio’s initial three-year plan was to produce animated short films, based on established film characters by Pixar,[1] to be shown in all of the related businesses within Disney, including television, DVD compilations, internet, theme park attractions, and theatrical presentations.[3] Post-production and stereoscopic work in 3D remained in the hands of the main studio of Pixar in Emeryville, California.[3]

Pixar Canada creative director Dylan Brown speaking in November 2009 at the Vancouver Film School’s Animation & Visual Effects Campus.[6]

Among the films produced were Air Mater, Small Fry, and Partysaurus Rex. Pixar’s shorts also became a proving ground for new directors and for concepts for the studio.[8]

In October 2013, Walt Disney Studios announced its closure, with a loss of nearly 100 jobs.[9] A company spokesperson said the work done in Vancouver would be transferred to the company’s headquarters in Burbank, California.[10] Provincial Jobs Minister Shirley Bond described the closure of the Pixar studio as “disappointing”, but added that she saw the decision as being tied to the company’s overall business strategy, rather than the business climate in British Columbia.[10]

Shortly after the closure of the studio, Disney, which had recently acquired Lucasfilm and its subsidiary companies, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM)’s satellite division in Vancouver, moved into Pixar Canada’s former studio. The ILM studio in Vancouver has subsequently carried out primary character animation and visual effects with the ILM headquarters in San Francisco on several Hollywood films, including Warcraft, The Revenant, and Thor: Ragnarok.[5]


Release date Title Ref
November 1, 2011 Mater's Tall Tales: Air Mater [11]
November 23, 2011 Small Fry
June 5, 2012 Mater's Tall Tales: Time Travel Mater [12]
September 14, 2012 Partysaurus Rex [13]
March 22, 2013 Tales from Radiator Springs: Hiccups [14]
Tales from Radiator Springs: Bugged
Tales from Radiator Springs: Spinning
May 20, 2014 Tales from Radiator Springs: The Radiator Springs 500 ½ [15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f 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. ^ a b "Pixar Canada shuts its doors in Vancouver". The Province. October 8, 2013. Archived from the original on April 24, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b Takeuchi, Craig. "Industrial Light and Magic opens permanent studio in Vancouver". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Pixar Canada Creative Director Comes to VFS". Vancouver Film School. November 20, 2009. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  7. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (May 7, 2009). "Disney/Pixar launching new studio". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  8. ^ Cohen, Steve. "Pixar Canada Closed In Surprise Move, Disney Lays Off 100 Employees". Variety.
  9. ^ "Pixar Vancouver Studios closed three years after opening". dailyhive.com. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  10. ^ a b Ladurantaye, Steve; Bailey, Ian. "Pixar closes its Vancouver studio after 3 years". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  11. ^ Gronvall, Andrea (November 27, 2012). "The Gronvall Files: To Canada (And Beyond?): PIXAR Canada Creative Director Dylan Brown". Movie City News. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  12. ^ "2011 BCFC Film and TV Production Stats". BCFC. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  13. ^ "Disney Supplement 2012". ToyWorld. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
  14. ^ "Films". Pixar Canada. Archived from the original on May 24, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  15. ^ Bryko (March 14, 2014). "New 'Cars' Short Will Kick Off Second 'Cars Toons' Series". Upcoming Pixar. Retrieved March 14, 2014.

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