A bunch of Warner Bros. Animation employees were asking for 401(k) forms when I was there today, so maybe the economy's coming back a little. (Two months ago, nobody was interested in putting money into a 401(k) Plan: "You crazy? I've got bills to pay off, I'm not gonna lose money in the stock market ...")
Moods have changed. But then so has WBA. It's busier than I've seen it in years ...
Besides the announced shows now in work (Laff Riot/Looney Tunes, Batman, Scooby Doo), and the super hero direct-to-video features, the studio is developing shorts with some of the old characters. I asked one of the Laff Riot creators about the shows he's working on, and he said:
"There are two shows back, and they're funny. They look good. I hope the writers keep it up, because the board artists are staying close to the scripts.
"The character designs vary. We started off with Darrell Van Citters's models, now we've got a lot of Clampett influence and we're moving toward Chuck Jones ..."
In other words, the character designs for Laff Riot are what you'd call eclectic.
But what's most gratifying about going through WBA these days is that all the cubicles and offices are pretty much filled. As one Warners artist observed: "We're bursting at the seams."