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  1. #1

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    Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    Story can be found at: http://animationguildblog.blogspot.c...-meetings.html

    Big meetings today at Disney Feature Animation. Ed Catmull, Andrew Millstein, and Ann Le Cam rolled out the animation division's new blueprint for feature animation employees in the hat building's first floor theatre, talking about changes that will be coming...
    Feature Animation will be undergoing some downsizing. When "Meet The Robinsons" wraps up, the division will be casting employees for "American Dog," the next animated feature on the production calendar. Some of the staff that doesn't roll onto that picture will be given sixty-day notices, and at the end of those two months, laid off.
    Artists who talked to me understand that some of their peers -- and maybe them -- will be looking for work other places after the first of the year. "It's kind of the way of the entertainment industry, isn't it" one sighed. "Nothing's forever."
    The mood around the hat building was subdued, but many staffers were glad that upper management called them into meetings and told them what was up. "What I like about Ed Catmull is he doesn't beat around the bush," another said. "He tells you what's going on, even when the news isn't great. It's better to know than not."
    A few employees told me they thought Feature Animation would be stronger after the layoffs were over. But wherever I walked on the first and second floors, things were, ahm, somber. And the oncoming changes were the prime topic of conversation.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    Anyone involved in "show business" at any level shouldn't count on steady employment. The industry just doesn't work that way. Disney did provide a degree of security in the past, but that was the past. (Lawrence Welk operated similarly. His performers didn't make as much as others, but could count on a steady job.)

    I'm sorry to see anyone have to scramble for a job, but Hollywood operates on its own rules.
    "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
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  3. #3

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    With the addition of Pixar and the elimination of Circle 7 (while retaining employees)... I would say the writing of this move was "on the wall..."

    I am sorry however that it is so close to the holidays... It sucks trying to find work this time of year... Hopefully they can do something about that...
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  4. #4

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    Shouldn't those "Robinsons" animators start working on the film after "Dog"?
    Or do they simply start the whole cycle over again? What a waste.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Shouldn't those "Robinsons" animators start working on the film after "Dog"?
    Or do they simply start the whole cycle over again? What a waste.
    I am sure the one after "Dog" is already in pre or early stages of production... After all doesn't it take 3 years to make a feature?
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  6. #6

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    Oogie just came back from a trip to Pixar. Not much talk of layoffs up there.

    Hmmmm....I wonder what the difference is between these two companies in terms of their managing styles and priorities.

  7. #7

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    There may not be much talk of layoffs, but they happen at EVERY studio at some time. YES, even Pixar. I don't think the gentlemen who head up the TAG Blog and the Animation Guild would lie.
    It is just an unfortunate reality of the business in this time and age.
    For the most part, Pixar probably hardly lays off folks because they have their entire business and studio model in the right place. This is the studio that knows what they are doing and how to do it right. If you read more into the comments at the TAG Blog, you'll find out that John and ED are trying to remold WDFA in Burbank into something that is much closer to the sister studio up in Emeryville. This is a good thing, Disney desperately needs it. Ed and John are doing much more than just improving disney's films and creative content- They are trying to COMPLETELY remold WDFA into what it truly should be. This will take time and layoffs will probably be a part of it. Once they get WDFA where it should be in all areas, then the layoffs would most likely diminish.

    Overall, some sacrifices have to be made for the future. But from this new management, they most likely will be for the better in the end.

  8. #8

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    Also, maybe once the Disney Shorts program gets up and running full-steam there will proabbly be more work for these people as well... back in the '50's, animators went from features, to shorts, to TV shows, to imagineering all the time...

  9. #9

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    Being an animator myself and having been through a large layoff, I feel for the guys at Disney Animation. Most animators are in the business because of their passion for animation. To be told you are being let go at any job is tough, but this is more than a job to us. The bright side is that I am sure many studios are excited to snatch up some of the talent that will be needing work soon.
    Last edited by Tonymation; 10-18-2006 at 10:32 AM.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    It sucks that layoffs happen. But each time one door closes another one opens.

  11. #11

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Wrassler View Post
    It sucks that layoffs happen. But each time one door closes another one opens.
    Yeah... a trap door.

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  12. #12

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    Oh thank goodness, now Disney can finally outsource all its animation and save enough money to pay those poor executives. Bob Iger is such a step above Michael Eisner...I mean, Michael Eisner would've just given them 30 days notice, but they get a full 60 days under Iger.

    I hope John Lasseter works his way up the corporate ladder soon, Iger and his executive crew (except for Lasseter) are really starting to chafe.

  13. #13

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    ^If you read up on things on the TAG blog, you would find that is NOT what is going on here. Not at all. It has nothing to do with Iger or Eisner. Go read up on some of the disney posts over there, including the comments section that follow, and you would find out what it is going on.

  14. #14

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

    although sad to hear. This is nothing new. It has happen before and will continue to happen.

    This also happens in WDI everytime large projects are done.
    Most likely we will soon here about similiar cuts in WDI. That is one department that needs some restraint so that Disney could start getting a hold on costly budgets for recent attractions.

    If they took control of that we would most likely start seeing better elaborate attractions with less waste in capitol investment. Something that has gne wild in WDI.


    Now if we would only get news soon on Rasulos replacement. rumor says he is on his way out. hopefully sooner than later. He has no sense of how to run the parks and resorts division since he cares little for them.

  15. #15

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    Re: Disney to announce layoffs in its Feature Animation department

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