‘Coco’ Producer Darla K. Anderson Leaves Pixar After 25 Years

Anderson won Oscars for “Coco” and “Toy Story 3,” and had a “Finding Nemo” character named after her

Darla K. Anderson, longtime producer at Pixar, will be leaving the animation studio after 25 years to pursue other creative projects.

“Darla has been a creative force in animation and a strong voice at Pixar for 25 years,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger in a statement on Thursday. “She’s made an indelible mark on the industry as an Oscar-winning producer and a relentless champion for stories that reflect the diversity of the global audience. She takes my best wishes with her as she sets a course for her next adventure”

Anderson has been a part of Pixar since its earliest days, working on commercials for Coca-Cola and Listerine as part of the studio’s commercial division. She then made the jump to feature films, helping work on “Toy Story” and then getting her first feature producer role on “A Bug’s Life” in 1998. Darla, the braces-wearing girl who accidentally kills fish in “Finding Nemo,” was jokingly named after her.

This past Sunday, Anderson won her second Academy Award as producer of Pixar’s latest film “Coco,” which won in the Best Animated Feature category. She won her first for “Toy Story 3,” which also became one of only three animated films to be nominated for Best Picture. She also became the first animation producer to be named to the Producers Guild of America’s board of directors.

“Darla is not only a storied producer, but one of the true pioneers in the creation of computer animated feature films. From A Bug’s Life to the sublime Coco, Darla has produced a remarkable body of movies that have not only raised the bar for animation, but for cinema as a whole,” Pixar chief Jim Morris said.

With Anderson’s departure, Pixar has now seen two members of its core creative team depart either temporarily or permanently. Founder John Lasseter, who is also Walt Disney Animation’s chief creative officer, announced a six-month leave of absence in November after admitting to “missteps” the same day that reports of sexual misconduct surfaced.