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– by Seth McDonald

A few changes have happened over at Pixar within the last few months,  studio co-founder John Lassiter has left the company over controversial issues, and was replaced by Pete Docter. Today we learn another longtime piece of the company is also leaving, albeit under much better circumstances.

Yes, Pixar is losing one of its core members, as director Lee Unkrich announced he was leaving the company to spend more time with his family as well as focus on other endeavors that have long been put off. Unkrich has been with Pixar for over two decades and won two Academy Awards during his time at the studio. You can read part of a statement from Unkrich below.

“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.

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Pixar’s Pete Docter:

“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.”

Unkrich’s Oscars came from directing 2017’s gorgeous and heartwarming film Coco as well as Toy Story 3. He also co-directed some of Pixar’s most beloved films including Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo. He was an intricate part of Pixar and influenced some of the studio’s most prized films, Unkrich will surely be missed.

Are you sad to see Unkrich leave Pixar? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Source: Deadline