News: Disney Lays Off Hand-Drawn Animators


rachael-ray-killed-mickeyThis was reported earlier this evening by Animation Scoop:

Around 150 Disney staffers were let go on Wednesday (less than 5%) as part of an ongoing effort to streamline operations in keeping with new paradigm shifts in social media and digital distribution platforms

A few hours ago, it’s been reported on the social network by a veteran Disney animator that the remaining 2D animators have been laid off as well.

Up to now, there have always been some traditional pencil animators on staff, even if they were being used for Research and Development.  For instance, although Wreck-It Ralph was a CG film, some character tests were animated with a pencil.   However, this marks the first time since the Disney studio began in 1923 that no hand-drawn animation is taking place.

It’s times like these that I wonder what Art Babbitt would think.  I have no doubt he’d side with Walt on this one.  He’d talk about the limited stories that have been told with CG animation, and how you’ve got to be an idiot to think that a few pixels make a film a better story.  But I’ll leave you with this:

Babbitt 1982“It never seems to occur to anybody that there’s a whole world of literature and music that’s never been touched!”                   – Art Babbitt, circa. 1982

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3 Responses to News: Disney Lays Off Hand-Drawn Animators

  1. This is what happens when you have “a step ahead of the game” mantra!

  2. A very sad day. The closing and letting go of true artist. If it had not been for them there would not be a Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom MGM/Hollywood Studio and the International Parks. The over 90 year history of many great men and women”s work is today worth a lot of money to collectors. And today the Disney Studio has de-valued the art form. As a former Disney Animation Artist, I can not express enough my shock, my frustration and anger. Some of my dear friends are now out of work. I can only hope and pray that other Studio’s are not so closed minded as the Disney Studio has become………..

  3. Dylan says:

    This is sad news indeed. I think that 2D animation is a great form of storytelling.

    I like 3D computer animation, but removing 2D from the picture seems like removing a valuable from the animator’s toolbox.

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