‘Toy Story 3’ Director Lee Unkrich Leaving Pixar After 25 Years

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After working with Pixar for 25 years, director Lee Unkrich is now parting ways with the animation studio. He first worked on “Toy Story,” Pixar’s first film, as an editor. Then, he would go on to co-direct films like “Finding Nemo,” “Monster’s Inc.,” and “Coco” which were Oscar-winning hits. But now, he’s stepping down to spend more time with his family.

Here’s a statement to THR from Unkrich himself:

“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.”

“Monster’s Inc.” co-director, Pete Docter, offered up his own statement on Unkrich’s departure:

“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.”

His departure comes at a major moment of change for the studio. Before Unkrich left, Pixar co-founder John Lasseter stepped down from his position after being hit with a sea of sexual misconduct accusations.

Lee Unkrich has been instrumental to Pixar’s success over the years. So, it’s curious to see how the studio’s films will fare after his absence. Also, we’ll see if he’ll continue to work on animated features. Either that or he becomes like Brad Bird and transitions to live action cinema. But as of right now, he has no projects in the pipeline.

Regardless of whether he does more animated films, his contribution to the field of animation shall not be forgotten.

How do you feel about Lee Unkrich departing from Pixar? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section!

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