“The time has come for new adventures.”

Oscar-winning animation director Lee Unkrich, the man responsible for directing Toy Story 3 and Coco, and co-directing Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo is leaving the studio after 25 years.

On Friday, Unkrich told fellow employees “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,” said Unkrich, 51, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

On Saturday, Unkrich tweeted a letter he sent to his former Pixar colleagues. It read “It is impossible for me to adequately express how epic this twenty-five year journey has been, and how much it has meant to work alongside such fantastic people and phenomenal talents,”   He also stated that “Many of you are like family to me, and it’s nearly incomprehensible to imagine no longer being here at Pixar with you.”

This marks the second major player at Pixar to leave, following co-founder John Lasseter’s departure from the company in 2018.

By HW Reynolds

Images provided by Disney/Pixar and Lee Unkrich/Twitter

 

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