On June 30th, some animation blogs leaked news that DreamWorks was laying off 40-50 people from their feature animation staff, saying “the studio didn’t have enough features requiring staff building front-end production elements, so employees in departments that were overstaffed were laid off and their contracts…paid out.” Of course, since How to Train Your Dragon 2 isn’t raking in the dough as heftily as many hoped/predicted, it leads to talk as to what this will mean for the future of DreamWorks animation and if our lovable Toothless is somehow to blame.
As much as we all like to look at cartoons as being exempt from the fetters of adult concerns, animation is a business and sometimes businesses have to trim their costs in order to stay solvent. According to the executives from Disney who released the statement about the “small reduction in staffing levels” at Pixar, the simple reality is that the postponement of The Good Dinosaur to 2015 means income will not sustain the staff levels Pixar was operating with.
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.”