Monday, May 15, 2006
Monday was spent at Disney Feature Animation, where I spent some time talking to tech directors who want improved family leave benefits... Specifically, matching company funds for women who are away from work having babies. The company match is designed to improve state disability and/or unemployment benefits so that they equal the employee's Disney salary. This benefit is now offered to the Mouse House's non-union employees, but not those working under a union contract. I was asked why that is. I answered "because the company chooses not to. Disney can grant benefits to whoever it wants. Like it used to give stock options to most of its animation staff, but options for artists stopped in the mid-eighties, when Michael Eisner took the helm..." (Lucky for the "Nine Old Men" and other first-generation artists that Walt felt differently.) Word floats hither and yon that "Rapunzel" might be made as a hand-drawn feature (I know that was Glen Keane's desire a couple of years back. And I know that, if hand-drawn, Glen wanted to animate on it.) I saw, with my very own eyes, artists drawing actual "Rapunzel" characters on paper and with light boards. (Addendum to the above: The Rapunzel paragraph -- about it being hand-drawn -- is...ahm...not accurate. I should have checked with one of the leads on "R" who I talk to all the time. But was Hulett remembering this info at the time his fingers hit the keys? Noooo. Should Hulett have checked further? Yeeess. I Hulett occasionally lazy? No comment.) Up on the third floor, there's some nifty artwork being done for "Joe Jump." (Mr. Jump appears to be on track as a CGI character in a CGI 'toon.) Lots of story artists are prepping pitches for the shorts program. Staffers continue to marvel at how open and straight-forward Ed Catmull is compared to..well, the previous President of WDFA.
Posted by Steve Hulett at 9:38 PM