Pixar Animation Studios Reviews | Glassdoor

Pixar Animation Studios Reviews

Updated February 18, 2019
137 reviews

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3.9
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Pixar Animation Studios President, Pixar and Disney Animation Studios Ed Catmull
Ed Catmull
96 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great people and a beautiful campus" (in 21 reviews)

  • "Collaborative work environment, Highly skilled co-workers, Work on inspiring content, Great benefits" (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • "Too expensive to live in the Bay Area" (in 13 reviews)

  • "Low pay compared to other animation studios" (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great benefits"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Production Assist
    Current Employee - Production Assist
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pixar Animation Studios full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Wonderful creative environment, great people.

    Cons

    Only baseline pay, challenging path to advancement


  2. Helpful (1)

    "High School Culture"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pixar Animation Studios full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Really nice campus as long as you don't leave the gates (very sketchy neighborhood).
    Working where computer animation was started, working on Hollywood movies.
    Attending screenings and listening to amazing guest speakers is part of your job.
    Lots of movie swag, if you're into that kind of stuff.

    Cons

    Pixar is great ... as long as you're part of their clique.
    They staff projects based on who you know v.s. your actual skills so make sure you kiss up to the right person. Very high school, so find the popular kids and hope they like you.
    Some of the legacy staff expect you to fawn over the fact that they worked on Toy Story or A Bug's Life 20 years ago.
    Execs say they care about diversity in race and gender, even hired an expensive VP two years ago to handle diversity, but their actual staffing numbers and every day culture doesn't reflect that.
    Very little upward mobility, but that's common in animation.
    HR only serves in the interest of executives, but that's common too.

    Advice to Management

    Restructure the department heads. Some of them are not qualified to do the job as it is currently.
    Stop pretending John Lasseter never existed. Be brave, own up to the toxic environment he and others in leadership fostered.
    Get rid of the entitled, established people who just complain about change instead of trying to innovate (which is how the company started!).

  3. "High School Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pixar Animation Studios full-time

    Pros

    Really nice campus (but is sketchy outside the gates).
    Working where computer animated films started, working on Hollywood movies.
    Attending screenings and listening to amazing guest speakers is part of your job.
    Lots of movie swag if you're into that kind of stuff.

    Cons

    Pixar is great ... as long as you're part of the clique.
    Projects are staffed based off who you know v.s. your actual skills. Make sure you kiss up to the right person. High school culture, so find the popular kids and hope they like you.
    Execs claim to value diversity, even hired an expensive VP of diversity two years ago, but their staffing numbers and every day culture doesn't reflect that.
    Upward mobility very difficult, but that's common in animation.
    HR only serves in the interest of executives (also common).

    Advice to Management

    Restructure department heads; some aren't qualified to do the job as it is currently.
    Stop pretending John Lasseter doesn't exist. Own up to the toxic environment he and others in leadership fostered.
    Get rid of the entitled and established people who just complain about change and want to keep the status quo.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "I feel grateful for my time at Pixar"

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

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

    Pros

    The best job I ever had. Amazing work, even better co-workers. Memories to last a lifetime.

    Cons

    Pay for the bay area, especially for those that missed the stock years, is hard to make a future with. There isn't much chance of owning a home on a Pixar salary no matter who you are. Upward mobility is insanely difficult since very few leave.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out a way to help people have a future to provide and have stability for their family.


  5. "Great Benefits, Low Pay"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Pixar Animation Studios full-time

    Pros

    Great community. Good Benefits. Friendly environment.

    Cons

    Low pay compared to other animation studios. Slow growth opportunities.


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Dream Makers, Dream Killers"

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    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great location, great perks and benefits

    Cons

    Low wages (because they can), inefficient and unprofessional middle management, dramatically stratified class system (anyone working in production gets royal treatment, studio staff are second class, etc), in spite of efforts to diversify it's still largely white men in positions of power both in the studio and leading creative projects (actually directing and writing movies)

    Advice to Management

    The Pixar way has traditionally been to pay more for greater quality and the Disney way has traditionally been to cut corners and save pennies on the ground to increase the profits up top. With the fall of Lasseter Disney has been exerting its influence into Pixar, shaking things up and shaking things down. Now would be a good time to teach the heads of departments how to handle layoffs in a decent, humane and dignified manner.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Software Engineer"

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    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I have been working at Pixar Animation Studios full-time

    Pros

    Great people and a beautiful campus.

    Cons

    Relatively low compensation as an engineer.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Software Engineer"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Pixar Animation Studios full-time

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with guys in film production and free latest movies. Colleagues are talented.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy and low esteem in the management. "If Disney say we'd do something, then we do something".

    Tech people are treated by the management layer as low-valued nerds, or "just another IT guy". Never mention their existence during any large events, for example, the premiere.

    Very unfriendly to foreign employees. One has to struggle here for 5+ years before getting support for EB1 visa application cause the company is afraid of employee's job changing.

    Advice to Management

    Value more on the tech. You're not company living only with artists.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Archivist"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Nice buildings and work space.

    Cons

    Not a lot of room to grow. You will be at a disadvantage if you are hired from resume and interview alone vs. knowing someone who already works there.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Amazing culture, excellent perks, but hard to move around and grow"

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

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

    Pros

    The company is top-notch. I came in a huge Pixar fan and once you step in and see how everything works, you fall in love with every little detail. The company culture is also amazing. People here are respectful and always willing to help and it makes getting through your day very pleasant. The perks here are awesome as well. Working in entertainment, you get free screenings, celebrity visits, industry ins and outs, and awesome parties. The compensation and benefits are also top notch.

    Cons

    I was hired full-time as run of show for 6 months after I did an internship for about 6 months. With just about a year of getting to understand the company, I found that it is a very hard place to grow and move around. This mostly comes from it being such a small company, just around 1200+ employees and so everyone here comes as their dead-end job, where they intend to spend 10-20 years. So if you come in entry level, it may take several years to see any growth. I can't say the same for all the Production roles like TDs, artists, and such, but that's my general feel.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to foster more community and transparency with everyone. It could help deter gossip and such that causes bits of paranoia here and there. Keep an eye out for up and coming leadership potential within the company.