I walked through the Disney hat building beside the big freeway in Burbank for the first time since my Florida adventure, dodging lightning bolts.
The layout crew for The Princess and the Frog has now almost entirely departed, and their old space is now occupied by digital ink-and-paint employees ...
Upstairs, the P and F animators now work on other projects (again, this is mostly: there are still a few bits and pieces being polished.) I walked through the cleanup crew's area and all the desks were empty and the personnel gone -- my first reaction was: Bummer that the jobs are over. Wish I could have seen everybody one more time. A staffer down the way told me:
"Cleanup artists last day was Friday. Everybody packed up and moved out, now there are now just a few people scattered around working on shorts ..."
In contrast to the 1990s, when shows overlapped and staff was retained year-round, today the end of production means the end of employment.
(The studio actually had a modified version of this business model in the 1960s and 1970s, when core staff stayed on payroll and assistants, breakdown and inbetweeners received pink slips at the conclusion of work for whatever feature was going on at the time ...)
With luck, The Princess and the Frog will be a rousing success and more hand-drawn features will get made.