In an expected move, The Walt Disney Studios laid off about 150 employees this week, which is approximately five percent of the studios’ staff. According to Reuters, Disney made a brief statement about the layoff, saying that it was a “difficult decision” and that the move is “part of an ongoing review to ensure that the studios’ operational structure and economics align with the demands of the current marketplace.”
The Hollywood Reporter stated that the layoffs affected employees in home entertainment, production, marketing, distribution and “in areas where digital technologies were reshaping business.”
On the Animation Guild Blog, it was reported that nine animators/artists from Walt Disney Animation Studios were also part of the layoff.
This is all very sad news to hear, what are your thoughts?
Multiple sources are reporting that the nine animators who lost their jobs in the Disney Studios layoff this week are all veteran 2D animators. Others 2D animators still on staff have been called into meetings for contract negations according to the Animation Guild Blog.
Veteran Disney animator Floyd Norman posted this in the comments of the Cartoon Brew article:
“Walt’s gone. You missed It. “ -Ward Kimball
And Steve Hulett on the Animation Guild Blog posted these two items:
“Add On: Surviving hand-drawn animators have been called to meetings to discuss wage cuts and/or buyouts. Guess we’ll wait to see where the downsizing ends.”
“One consoling thought: There is life after Disney. Other artists have found this to be a fact; it will be true for this talented group as well. (Just ask John Lasseter.)”
Layoffs suck. I am very bummed that these talented artists lost their jobs at Disney and feel sorry for any hardships that this is going to cause for them and their families. Unfortunately, layoffs are a part of modern corporate life. We don’t know what kind of salary these guys were making. We don’t know how these guys were to work with day-to-day. We also don’t know what is in the pipeline at Disney Animation beyond Frozen. I personally am leery about discussing it as the final nail in the coffin of 2D animation with these unknowns.
We will keep you updated as we learn more.