Tuesday, October 27, 2009

End of Days

I went to Universal Animation Studios (formerly Universal Cartoon Studios) today. Boxes were stacked in the hallways. Most of the offices were empty. One of the remaining staffers said to me:

"We're finishing the last episodes of Curious George. All the shows have been shipped now, and the last designer is finishing up this week or next. We'll be in post on the show until next March, but we'll be moving to a corner of the black tower's twenty-fifth floor in the next few weeks. Universal will be renting out most of the floor to somebody else."

"... I don't think Universal is making any announcements about closing Universal Animation Studio. They're just not going to have any shows, or do any productions, or have any executives. Recently they haven't had much interest in doing animation. They want to pick up produced projects, but they aren't going to be creating anything here ..."

Which is a shame, since UAS has done some pretty good work over the years.

The studio came into existence in the early nineties, a couple of years after Warner Bros. Animation sprang back to life with Tiny Tunes, and Disney TVA was moving into high gear. The last of the slower-witted congloms realized there were tidy sums to be made in television animation. Universal set up its own studio, followed by Viacom with Nick a couple of years later.

Universal, back in the day, proclaimed that it wanted to be a major television producer, and it recruited artists and directors from Warners and Disney. But outside of the perennial money spinner Land Before Time, nothing really took off. U never achieved its own Pinky and the Brain or Duck Tales, never became a major teevee animation producer.

And it's always seemed a little sad to me, because the potential was there. The place just never got running on all eight cylinders.

Adios, Universal Cartoon/Animation Studios. It was fun while it lasted.


Doz Hewson said...

"How evil, is not it, that no one else seems to care that UNIVERSAL ANIMATION STUDIOS is now, for all intents/purposes, DEAD. I remember viewing their TV shit, and most of it was quite good. So, who's at fault? EVERYONE, in my proud opinion: from the viewers on up. UNIVERSAL ANIMATION STUDIOS, you WILL be remembered. ALWAYS."

Anonymous said...

No more Land Before Time films?! That is just so WRONG...

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Universal Animation Studios was canceled. That is unfair and wrong. Because it's like destroying a story line. There will be a lot of children of all ages very disappointed all around the world. Even me I'm disappointed to hear that. I say don't cancel the Universal Animated Studios lets hear more stories of the Land Before Time movie sequels and TV series. Everyone including me would wonder what happens next and when is the second season of the Land Before Time episodes going to be aired on TV? How did they Meet Ruby and how did Chomper and his mommy and daddy get off the Mysterious Island.

So, in my opinion there should be more sequels and more episodes to entertain families and children of all ages. Including me. They carry the valuable lessons that children and family should learn and follow.

Do any of you people agree with that for what I say to you now? I hope you do because this is my point of view and my wisdom.

Chaz-Toons said...

Damn, I was about to pitch three project to them.
"The Chaz the Menace Boy And his Friends Show",
Based on my Comic Strip.

"Animator vs. Animated Rabbit"

and "Old MacDonald's Las Vegas Farm"

I can't believe it man!!! This Stinks (In a bad way!)

Gazza said...

It is really a shame that UAS has stopped creating their beautiful and amazing cartoons. The Land Before Time films were the best. I have even been writing a land before time script myself, hoping that they could make and produce it. I just hope it would be allowed. I have many new land before time names, which I had hoped would continue the storyline. :(

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