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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Variety: What's Changing at Walt Disney Feature Animation with Pixar in Command

Ben Fritz of Variety writes that Disney animators were optimistic when Pixar co-founders Ed Catmull and John Lasseter arrived to take the reins last year:

    Disney animators use words like "euphoria" to describe what they felt at the time. Today, those feelings are more tempered, thanks to an unexpected round of cutbacks in December that saw Disney Animation lay off 160 employees, or about 20% of its staff.

    "Everybody recognizes the fact that they're trying to change the culture down here for the better, but it's safe to say that the pixie dust that surrounded their arrival has pretty much disappeared," says one source close to Disney Animation.

Also interesting in the piece is Fritz's observation that, despite talk about making WDFA more "director-driven," the post-Pixar period hasn't been without directorial conflicts (and even some departures).

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