Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson, holding their Oscars for Coco.
Photo: Steve Granitz (Getty Images)

In a story that refreshingly lets us deploy the phrase “is departing his role at Pixar” without forcing us to then tack on the spirit-crushing follow-up “amid a cloud of very depressing sexual harassment allegations,” THR is reporting that Coco and Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich is leaving the Disney-owned studio. Responsible for some of Pixar’s most beloved (and profitable) films of the last few years, Unkrich is reportedly leaving the company after 25 years so that he can spend more time with his family.

The news of Unkrich’s departure comes at an extremely rocky time for the once-bulletproof studio; head John Lasseter quietly left the company back in 2017, amid a cloud of very depressing sexual harassment allegations, and there have been reports of a toxic “boys club” culture that pervades (or at least pervaded) The House That Buzz And Woody Built. Losing Unkrich—who also co-directed Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo—is presumably another powerful blow to an organization that once seemed like it was immune to Hollywood’s usual stumbles; in any case, current chief creative officer Pete Docter was quick to heap praise on the outgoing editor and director, noting that “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.” 

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