Pixar Reviews

Updated July 15, 2015
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3.6
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Pixar President, Pixar and Disney Animation Studios Ed Catmull
Ed Catmull
45 Ratings

Pros
  • Great people, amazing campus, fun projects (in 9 reviews)

  • Tries hard to enrich employees with great benefits and perks and eduction (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • None really long hours some days (in 6 reviews)

  • Living in the Bay area isn't too cheap (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

51 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Pixar is a group of very smart people genuinely committed to making great films.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pixar full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Being surrounded by many people who are the best in the world at what they do. Learning and being challenged every day. Many opportunities to forge a new path.

    Cons

    There is some risk involved with a whole bunch of people trying to forge a new path. Not everything we try works, and in some cases that has large and small effects on employees or their careers.

    Advice to Management

    Keep trying to create the best place to create.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Amazing People, Great place, Ok infrastructure..

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production Assistant in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Production Assistant in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Pixar full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Working with amazing, incredibly talented, smart people (some heroes of childhood), being a part of animation history, amazing food, great benefits, beautiful campus, cool perks!

    Cons

    Politics got in the way of everything, small growth opportunities, mediocre salary for such a big successful company.


  3. Helpful (15)

    What a joke

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Pixar full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great campus Great perks include free passes to Disney parks and weekly movie screenings Work on top-quality animated films Great on-site cafe

    Cons

    Bigheaded people in leadership roles stifle new ideas. Poor organizational structure leads to ill-defined jobs without proper leadership. Zero relevant education for new employees, and poor communication between teams makes it difficult for new employees to do their job. No performance improvement opportunities for employees who have been with the company less than 1 year.

    Advice to Management

    Make decisions based on all relevant employee reviews, not just an single individual's feelings. Grade employee performance on clearly defined expectations Learn the language the company as a whole uses, so concepts can be communicated clearly


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  5. Helpful (5)

    Great campus, nice perks, limited room for advancement

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pixar full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits Nice perks Decent salary Great campus Nice offices

    Cons

    Limited room for advancement No stock options Can be clicky


  6. Helpful (6)

    Great company, benefits, and culture.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Pixar full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great company and work culture, including benefits, personal growth, overall environment, and much less politics to deal with than in your average corporate office. Working alongside some of the most talented people in the world, is nothing short but the best opportunity for personal growth, including the amazing Pixar University and all the classes it offers. If you work hard, give it all, and have a positive attitude towards your co-workers, you will find the best possible job in the industry at this company.

    Cons

    The only cons I found during my time there were the smaller salaries compared to your industry average, and the thick glass ceiling. It's extremely tough to move up the ladder to seek new opportunities for career growth and be challenged regularly.


  7. Helpful (3)

    Overworked at Pixar

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Director in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Technical Director in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Pixar full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Best people in the field of computer graphics and animation congregate here.

    Cons

    Inexperienced technical leadership, poor work/life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Pixar needs seasoned technical executives brought in from other industries to lend a steady hand and visionary technical leadership. The work output of Pixar is tremendous, and the pride of the employees is rightfully deep. Stature in the industry of former employees is very high, with excellent ability to transition to other studios and other industries. Having good Pixar experience on one's resume still today commands considerable respect.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Fantastic Interview Process

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends

    I have been working at Pixar full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    After interviewing with several other companies, Pixar was by far the most professional with prompt correspondence and well planned interview schedules.

    Cons

    No cons so far with the company. The only difficulty is finding a place to live nearby that's decent and affordable!


  9. Helpful (9)

    Relaxed, positive, respectful working environment, but long hours and low salaries.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pixar full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    No suits! No need for an expensive, uncomfortable wardrobe. Jeans and sneakers everyday of the week. Really friendly work environment. Great benefits and fun perks.

    Cons

    Leadership is not very supportive of or open to job sharing or working from home for working parents with babies and young children. Long hours. Low-ish salaries, unless you're at the top. Staff lacking diversity.


  10. Helpful (7)

    Mixed bag

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Pixar full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Pixar produces a great product, and employs a lot of dedicated people. Great facilities, great parties, great film screenings.

    Cons

    Slow dissolution of culture, perks and benefits since the Disney merger. Fewer opportunities to advance, less reward for good service. Very little loyalty between upper management and staff. Directors and studio management regularly hold company meetings espousing inclusiveness and willingness to take risks, but then regularly turn their backs on top talent.

    Advice to Management

    Support and nurture your creative contributors instead of dismissing them.


  11. Helpful (4)

    Fantastic overall environment; culture and morale in Tools is iffy; fairly severe place for an intern

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineer in Emeryville, CA
    Former Intern - Software Engineer in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Pixar as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There were awesome perks simply from being at the Studio: in-house screenings of in-progress Pixar films; access to presentations on incredible in-house graphics research and development; it was like a graphics nerd's candy store. People are intimidatingly smart, but very friendly. It's possible to interact and collaborate with people from all across the Studio if you take the initiative. In Tools itself, software quality standards were quite high, which provided an excellent learning opportunity for me, fresh as I was from college; I learned a lot from meeting the standards of the build and version control check-in system and from passing regression test suites, from one-on-one in-person code reviews with my manager and other engineers, and from many other mature professional practices in place. On the whole, it was an excellent place to cut my teeth in the real world, out of college.

    Cons

    The culture in the Tools department where I worked was a little too serious, with an undercurrent of dissatisfaction and malaise. It didn't feel like the Tools department (or maybe just my team) had really planned, prepared and organized for having interns around. I don't expect to be babied or hand-held as an intern, but in retrospect it seems very much that since I wasn't just a rock star from day one, I became an afterthought. My manager was friendly and open, but when I did need feedback and direction I often found he was simply too busy, would forget to get back to me, or it would be too late for me to be efficient. Other engineers were friendly and willing to answer questions, but they often couldn't help with issues specific to my team, and my manager wanted to do some review and feedback work personally, so he wound up making himself a bottleneck.

    Advice to Management

    I don't know how things have evolved in Tools since I left, but from my time there, I would say to find a way to lighten up a bit; foster, encourage, and welcome much more chat, interaction, and camaraderie among engineers. Granted, my time came as Tools was just starting to come over the hump of a massive software project that users were only finally starting to like and see the value of, so Tools had been taking a beating for a while. But hopefully that grim mood hasn't had to continue.



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