I journeyed to Disney TVA Sonora today, and discovered that the place was a noisy construction zone. Staffers told me:
"The construction crews have picked up their pace around here. All the Disney Television Animation artists and directors at the Frank Wells Building on the lot move over to Sonora early next week. The noise is pretty disruptive ..."
They're completely remaking the second floor of Sonora. It was configured for two or three direct-to video features, now they'll be making two series up there." ... "Cement has been falling off the first-floor ceiling where theyre jack-hammering the second floor. ..."
"Richard Ross wanted all the units who report to him on the Burbank lot. Disney TVA reports to the Channel, not Ross, so they're vacating their third floor space in Frank Wells ..."
While I was there, the noise and foot-traffic was intense. A Glendale fire marshal was going around with the hard-hat guys, checking things off his list. And as I left, artists told me that management had told them they could go home, since the work environment was ... not really optimum.
The Sonora remodel is the second in four years. (Might be more than that, depending on how you count. Each floor has gone through one or two renovations prior to this one.)
So Disney is moving along, expanding its animation production for the small screen. But unlike DreamWorks Animation, its going in a different direction overseas:
... Disney backed away from its strategy of producing local language films with local actors and made the decision to close the small Burbank office overseeing the effort in June.
... When Ross saw big box office returns on Pirates 4 ($65M in Russia) and Cars 2 in those same countries, he decided it made more sense to spend the money on marketing and distributing the studios’ franchise films than to bank on local talent. ...
Apparently no more Roadside Romeos for Diz Co. (Or maybe this applies only to live-action?)