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  1. #1

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    DisneyToon Studios restructured, Will Operate as Separate Unit Within WDAS

    DisneyToon Studios to be Restructured and Will Operate as a
    Separate Unit Within Walt Disney Animation Studios


    DisneyToon President Sharon Morrill to Take on New Role at The Walt Disney Studios

    BURBANK, Calif., June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- DisneyToon Studios (DTS) isbeing restructured and will now operate as a separate unit under the supervision of Walt Disney Animation Studios, it was announced today by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios will immediately assume responsibilities of DTS. Sharon Morrill, a fifteen-year Disney veteran who has served as president of DTS since 2004, will assume new duties within the Studio, which will include working on a variety of special projects.

    Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, "Sharon has been an amazing leader and has done a tremendous job. DisneyToon Studios has always been an integral part of the Studio and we are pleased that John and Ed will bring their vision in creating exciting original DVD premieres. They already have some very ambitious and innovative projects on the drawing boards."

    Catmull added, "John and I are truly excited to be working with the talented team at DisneyToon Studios in developing and producing original stories for the home entertainment audience. The first project includes Tinker Bell and a whole new cast of Fairy characters that have all the ingredients of wonder, magic and enchantment that our audiences expect. With DisneyToon Studios now part of Walt Disney Animation Studios, we hope to explore a wide variety of fun and original story ideas and projects."

    Alan Bergman, president of The Walt Disney Studios and to whom Morrill reports, added, "We're grateful to Sharon for the important role she played in shaping this division, and for building it into the undisputed industry leader. Her leadership resulted in some of the biggest video and DVD successes of all-time, and we look forward to working with Sharon on special projects."
    SOURCE Walt Disney Studios
    Last edited by ALIASd; 06-23-2007 at 12:03 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: DisneyToon Studios restructured, Will Operate as Separate Unit Within WDAS

    So we will get spin-offs instead of sequels? I guess a Grumpy movie is better than Snow White 2: A Journey through Time, where the evil queen finds a way to escape hell and travel through time to stop Snow White from being born, her only problem is that she will have to deal with the prince who has time traveled from the future to save Snow White. It would basically be The Terminator with the names of characters changed.

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    Re: DisneyToon Studios restructured, Will Operate as Separate Unit Within WDAS

    I wish Imagineering would get restructured and fall under Lasseters control.

    So long as Fitzgerald and eric jacobson are calling the shots..the parks (at least in florida) are screwed.

  4. #4

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    Re: DisneyToon Studios restructured, Will Operate as Separate Unit Within WDAS

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHost2 View Post
    So we will get spin-offs instead of sequels?
    Publicly the company seems to have appreciated what they delivered overall,
    from the original press release:
    "...some of the biggest video and DVD successes of all-time."
    Of course you can always opt not to buy or support upcoming releases.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  5. #5

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    Re: DisneyToon Studios restructured, Will Operate as Separate Unit Within WDAS

    Pixar pair win Disney battle

    Lasseter, Catmull gain control of animation unit

    Catmull

    Lasseter


    By Diane Garrett, Ben Fritz
    Variety
    June 25, 2007

    Game, set, match Pixar.

    With last week's reorg of Disney animation, John Lasseter and Ed Catmull gained control over all Mouse House feature toons and won their pitched battle against DVD sequels.

    DisneyToon is now a separate unit of Walt Disney Animation Studios under their aegis. Sharon Morrill, former prexy of the lucrative but creatively challenged direct-to-DVD division, has been reassigned to special projects after being relieved of her post last week (Daily Variety, June 22). She had repeatedly clashed with the Pixar toppers over creative issues.

    The restructuring reps a major shift in the Mouse House's pioneering homevideo strategy. The studio has made a mint releasing relatively cheap sequels like "Cinderella III" and "Lion King 1" straight to video, but purists have long complained about the quality of these enterprises.

    The mood started to change when Pixar leaders arrived in Burbank. Under the influence of Lasseter and Catmull, DisneyToon had already moved away from animated sequels to focus on spinoffs like "Tinker Bell" and an animated fairies pic for the homevideo market (Variety, Feb. 26-March 4).

    However, it's not clear how lucrative these toons will be. One reason Disney was able to make so much money on its toon sequels was that they weren't held to the same standards as their bigscreen predecessors.

    "Tinker Bell" has already gone back to the drawing board at least once, pushing up costs considerably. In giving Lasseter and Catmull control, studio topper Bob Iger is betting on quality and Pixar's strong track record.

    The battle over toon sequels dates back to the production of "Toy Story 2." Disney wanted to release it straight to video under terms of its distribution contract with the Northern California toon factory, but Pixar refused to cut corners and insisted on a theatrical release. The 1999 toon made more coin at the box office than the original, but that did not settle matters. Disney topper Michael Eisner and Pixar topper Steve Jobs squabbled over the issue until Iger ultimately swooped in to broker Disney $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar last year.

    Disney's fine-tooning of its made-for-DVD strategy comes amid increased competish for straight-to-disc coin. With overall DVD revenue flat, studios are looking for ways to boost their bottom line. Pics created for the homevideo market are especially appealing because they generally do not involve as much expense and therefore promise greater profit.

    Warner homevid, one of the last to jump in the direct-to-vid fray, is preparing a "Get Smarter" spinoff disc to hit shelves less than two weeks after the original debuts in theaters next June; its Warner Premiere division released a "Dukes of Hazzard" prequel in March. MGM plans to release a dozen DVD made-fors annually, including sequels such as "Dressed to Kill 2." And Universal, which has had success with its "Land Before Time" straight-to-disc franchise, continues to rack up millions from sales of "Bring It On" and "American Pie" sequels released straight to video.
    http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...goryid=13&cs=1
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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