Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Afternoon at Disney TVA

Walking into an artist's cube at Disney Sonora today was not an upbeat experience.

The third season of My Friends Tigger and Pooh was canceled last week. The crew was called in Thursday morning and told of the decision. Today, people are still wrestling with it:

"This is pretty devastating for a lot of people on the show. They told us months ago that a third season of Pooh was going to happen. And people went out and spent money based on the promise of another year of work. So now there are people in economic trouble because of this" ...

"I'm ticked, but not really surprised. This is the way the industry works. They say one thing and do another." ...

"This wouldn't hurt nearly as much if they'd said, 'looks like two seasons will be it.' But they didn't. They did the opposite." ...

Welcome to Hollywood, land of empty promises.

There's a lot of scripts for the third season partially written. They won't be doing anything with them now, I guess."

So now the layoffs begin. Some folks will depart the end of the month, others will leave in October and December. Almost all will be on new gigs or unemployment by the end of the year.

"When am I going to get smart and realize they don't really care? No matter what they say?"

All anyone needs to know in this business are the five key words: "It's not personal. It's business."

14 comments:

Racattack Force said...

Ouch, that's harsh. Promised another season, and then right after the beginning of pre-production, cancelled. Hope the Pooh crew are able to find work by the end of the year.

urban myth said...

Was it canceled because of ratings?

Did they actually say it would get another season or something like "we should" get another season.I know how sometimes people can hear what they want and not what was said. I hope all the talented people get work quickly.

Does Disney have anything in development?

Steve Hulett said...

The third go-round had been greenlit. They had sixteen scripts in first draft, others in the outline/synopsis stage.

Upper management did an about face. Why, I don't know.

Nelson C. Woodstock said...

Even with the promise of a season 3, one shouldn't spend money like that to the point where they're in a financial hole. I certainly plan to save my money until I'm sitting at my Cintiq, storyboarding for new episodes beyond our show's initial 13. If we get them, that is.

It's like that episode of Good Times, where James is positive he's getting a new job and throws a party with the rent money, but when the white man tells him he didn't get the job, he has to tell the family and the show ends depressing as usual.

Anonymous said...

Something like that happened at the Florida Studio.

There were many assurances that there were many projects down the road and that the Florida Studios future was solid. People bought houses, had kids, etc. (people have to live, you know!)

These assurances were made in studio wide meetings, so it was a collective kind of delusion.

A year later the studio was shut down.

That's corporate America for ya!

Anonymous said...

"And people went out and spent money based on the promise of another year of work. So now there are people in economic trouble because of this" ...


Why do people do this?!? DON'T SPEND MONEY YOU DON'T HAVE! It's really not a difficult concept.

Anonymous said...

Steve -

"Upper management did an about face..."

Upper management as in John Lasseter and Ed Catmull are involved in that?

Dave said...

"Why do people do this?!? DON'T SPEND MONEY YOU DON'T HAVE! It's really not a difficult concept."

I think in this case it wasn't about people running out to buy a Porsche , or a big-screen TV, or some other "toy".

I think with the promise of another season of work some who had been waiting may have decided : "Ok, now we can go ahead and put that down payment on the house so we can get out of this dumpy apartment building in North Hollywood" or "Now we can go ahead and get our daughter's orthodontia work started ." or "we can finally replace the roof on our house " , etc.

In the present climate I doubt very much if people are spending money they don't have to.

Anonymous said...

Upper management as in John Lasseter and Ed Catmull are involved in that?

As far as I know, Lasseter and Catmull have no jurisdiction over Disney Television Animation, only Disney Toon (the "Tinkerbell" folks) and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Aaron H. Bynum said...

Tough, and unfortunate. It's a good show, too.

Shellie said...

You got it right Dave...
Im not on the show... But. I feel for the crew. Yes it is about coming home to YOUR FAMILY and telling them "not to worry another season got an the green light". We all know the stress that animation brings. And most of us do it because its in our soul. We love it. We also know that things like this happen. Good Luck to all the crew members. Its always hard to hear about a show that is no longer going to be in production

Anonymous said...

Whether for luxuries or necessities, the principle still stands:

Don't spend money you don't have.

Nelson C. Woodstock said...

Well, for necessities, you'll have to spend it. Necessities being food, shelter, clothing.

It's important to have enough money saved up so that one could live off of it for a long time. I'd say 9 months or more. Wouldn't it be less stressful if a studio told you a hiatus was coming up, and you could say "Hey no worries. I got $25k in the bank!"

kellyann794 said...

I am shocked by the news they cancelled this show. As the mom of a fan I keep hoping it is not true. The songs and stories are adored by my child. I know I am only one person but I am truly upset with disney on this decision.

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