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  1. #1

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    Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    http://ocresort.freedomblogging.com/...-animatronics/


    The Walt Disney Co. will begin out-sourcing the manufacturing of Audio Animatronics because of too much demand on staff time, according to an Imagineering memo sent to the Orange County Register.

    Audio-Animatronics figures are basically moving and talking (or signing) robotic figures that were started by Walt Disney’s company. Today, Audio-Animatronics can be seen in several Disneyland attractions, which include: “it’s a small world,” Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones Adventure, Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! and the upcoming Toy Story Mania!.

    The memo is dated June 12, 2008, and was sent to all Walt Disney Imagineering employees from Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive, Craig Russell, chief development and delivery executive, and Kevin Eld, vice president of Disney Creative Production. The memo was sent to and received by the Orange County Register today. Imagineers is Disney’s a word for designers and engineers.

    The memo states that after review manufacturing all Audio-Animatronics figures in-house is not feasible in terms of cost and staffing. Instead, Imagineering’s Manufacturing and Prototype Operations group based in North Hollywood will “build some select, highly complex” figures in-house.
    More at the link...
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  2. #2

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    Angry Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    That is really sad.
    Disney is outsourcing more and more and more...
    Pretty soon when you call to make your reservations, you will be speaking to someone in India.... someone who has never been to Disneyland or Disney World before...

    It's sad, that seems to be the way everyone in the US is going.


  3. #3

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    I thought Sarcos (www.sarcos.com) had been creating Animatronics for Disney for many years now. Didn't they help in the creation of the A100 figures?

  4. #4

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    I think this is a slap in the face to walt. Disney should be specialist in animatronics, just because other companys are doing them as well doesnt mean they should do Disney's work.


  5. #5

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    It also means more layoffs. We spoke to Marilyn Waters at WDI earlier and have additional comments in our story, here >>

  6. #6

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Oberleitner View Post
    It also means more layoffs. We spoke to Marilyn Waters at WDI earlier and have additional comments in our story, here >>
    More layoffs just as Disney is launching a $1+ billion makeover of DCA.

    Either this is a knuckle-headed move, or Disney is just cutting the fat and keeping a tight, dedicated, and focused group to lead the DCA makeover.

    Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    I really hope this doesn't mean lower-quality animatronics for the parks.

  8. #8

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    Who knows, maybe this new AA company has surpassed anything Disney thought they could do with an AA. We'll see how it turns out. If the new AA's are crap they'll bring these guys back "Hopefully".
    Everybody's got a laughin' place-
    trouble is most folks won't take the time to go look for it.

  9. #9

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    IF this mean that Disney will FINALLY create another high quantity Audio Animatronic attraction, then it's fine with me. It's been NINETEEN years since DL opened their last major animatronic attraction, with Splash Mountain! And those were mostly rescued from America Sings!

    Sheesh, they ought to be ashamed mentioning the AA's in Monster's Inc, and technically there AREN'T any AA's In Midway Madness, as Mr PH is in the line, not in the attraction! And Indy, ok, there are three Indy AA's , but sheesh, that's a far cry from Country Bear Jamboree!

    And it's SO OBVIOUS what DCA was missing from opening day. IF DCA would have had ONE attraction along the lines of Pirates or the Haunted Mansion, (no! not the boring historical AA stage show that was initial proposed for Golden Dreams) I dare say DCA would have faired MUCH better!

    So I say, BRING on THE AA Attractions, and DON'T BE SKIMPY with only 3 or 4 AA's!!!!! It will need dozens!

  10. #10

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    Did you guys look at that www.sacros.com web site? They had the Auctioneer from Pirates, it could have been synced to the audio but it looked good.

    If Disney can do this and still get a QUALITY product then maybe they can better spend their time and money on designing new a more innovative things!

    They just said they would outsource the building, not the designing...

  11. #11

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    I just hope that they understand that sometimes there is absolutely no substitute for a full cast of Audio Animatronics. They have their reasons... but... *sigh* I just wish they would reconsider or something, you know? But who am I kidding? -AA's are expensive and not really practical, and the last attraction that opened with many complex AA's would be either of the 2 Splash Mountains that opened in 1992 in Japan and Florida, I think. Now, I haven't been very disappointed with the Attractions of late, and Disney has still been finding new and alternative ways to create realistic and immersive environments. I saw Turtle Talk with crush like the month it opened, and it totally blew me away! You can't do that with an AA figure at all. On the other hand, will Disney even bother with a full cast of AA's again if needed?

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    double post

  13. #13

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    Will some of the Imagineers at Disney have a job with this other company?

  14. #14

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    The new strategy for our Manufacturing and Prototype Organization is to focus on greater innovation in prototyping and developing the next generation of Audio-Animatronics figures. This will involve strengthening our competencies in the creation of, unique Audio-Animatronics figures.
    In the past few years, our industry has generated a number of highly-skilled, technically-proficient vendors who can supplement our teams with specialized expertise quickly and efficiently. The production of simple figures will now be managed by vendors with oversight by the WDI production team.
    So, they could be out sourcing the basic figures that companies like Sacros, Sally Corp. Garner Holt etc. are all ready making and keeping the more advanced ones in house like Mr. Potato Head, Yeti, Stich, etc?

    I believe that Garner Holt did the Jack Skelington for HMH.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Disney to out-source Audio Animatronics - Orange County Register, 6/13/08

    Somehow I forgot those other companies can make animatronics really, really well. Nevermind, I guess.

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