At Film Roman, most of the The Simpsons's crew is finishing the current season of The Yellow Family. Various people came up to me today and mentioned that they now have five qualifed pension years under their belts. So folks who've been working there since TAG signed a contract with FR in early 2005 are now vested in both pension plans run by the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan.
A few hearty souls have already started with Season 21 of The Simpsons. One of them related:
"We've got twenty-two episodes in the new season, which is great, but they're cutting schedules, so everyone is going to have to work longer days, and with the high def format we're reworking a lot of the old locations and setups and there's a lot more pencil mileage. And the word around is that the company want's to keep salaries flat. But hey, we're working ..."
"We're working," It's a phrase I hear a lot. (I might have mentioned this before. Like twenty or thirty times.)
And it ties in with what a Disney veteran (who's no longer there) recently told me over lunch re Disney Animation Studios.
"Old friends are telling me that Princess and the Frog has tested really well, and that the rumor going around is that the studio is thinking about doing more hand-drawn features, maybe two.
"But nobody's taking anything for granted, and everybody's insecure. Like they don't know if they'll be there after PATF is done or not ..."
Then, of course, there's the tempest currently brewing in your local thimble:
... [E]ven though "The Princess and the Frog" isn’t released until later this year, it is already stirring up controversy.
For while Princess Tiana and many in the cartoon cast are black – the prince is not. Which has led some critics to complain that Disney has ducked the opportunity for a fairytale ending for a black prince and princess.
While some have hailed Disney’s decision as a reflection of melting pot America, others say the company is sending out a mixed message.
Mixed message. That's choice.
Apparently it's escaped the notice of some outraged filmgoers -- and journalists unhampered by irony -- that the United States has a President who is ... how do I say this diplomatically? ... of "mixed race." You know, like a white mother and black father?
So maybe the mixed message thing fits right in. You think?