I wandered through the Disney Animation Studio this afternoon. Maybe the mood I encountered was associated with this:
Walt Disney (DIS) ... contributed to the Dow’s downturn in the session as shares fell nearly 3% on economic data that showed consumer spending fell for the sixth consecutive month in December, capping the worst year for the reading since 1961 ...
Okay, maybe it isn't the declining stock price. But the first thing I encounter on the first floor of the hat building was a grimace from a veteran Disneyite.
"Morale around here isn't too good ... like it's tense ..."
Nobody I talked to is unhappy with the films now in work. The discontent comes from the continuing waves of layoffs.
Also the wage reductions.
Up on the second floor a c.g. person stopped me in the hall and asked: Is there anything we can do about the 45 hour workweek at the same pay?" He wasn't pleased when I told him "No."
Another artist, when I asked how work was going, replied: I'm having 18% less fun." (referencing her 18% pay cut.)
And a mid-building group wanted an impromptu meeting, so we held one in their room. As one of them said: "After a big round of layoffs, management told us that there wasn't going to be anymore, then there was more layoffs. We just don't believe a lot of what we get told..." I didn't have much in the way of a pithy reply.
There's belt-tightening going on at lots of L.A. animation studios. It isn't just Disney. I told this to a number of Disney employees. For some reason spirits weren't buoyed.
It isn't just Disney stock that's down.