Thursday, October 06, 2011

Disney Animation Leaves Disney Lot

Again.

(And let me stipulate here that I'm talking here about the original Disney lot in Burbank, the real estate that is bounded by Alameda Avenue, Buena Vista Street, Riverside Drive and Keystone Street.)

The feature animation unit cleared out of the Animation Building in 1985 and 1986. When the Frank Wells Building was constructed a decade later, Disney Television Animation occupied multiple floors ...

There are now a couple of Disney TVA shows left in the building: Tron and Phineas and Ferb. But as of Monday next, those productions will be created elsewhere, and lawyers answering to Richard Ross will be inhabitants of the Wells space. I went through the building a couple of days back and noted that half the production offices and cubicles were already empty and partially dismantled; the survivors had their cardboard boxes stacked up, ready to fill for the weekend move.

And thus, no more animation at the old stand. Kind of sad. For the second time.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe we'll see an awesome "renaissance" in Disney TVA in the next few years. That's how it goes, right?

Anonymous said...

That's a lot of lawyers. Or are you just being cheeky...

Anonymous said...

Replacing animators with lawyers? All part of the magic.

Felipe said...

What is disheartening and slightly ironic is that the studio that was built on animation now has none actually produced on the lot itself.

Anonymous said...

God, I loathe the people running Disney now. Iger disdains Disney concepts so completely that he dedicates a piece of Walt Disney World to "Avatar", a non-Disney creation. (Forget Fantasia. Forget Lion King. People don't care about them!) He kicks animation out of the Disney animation building (thus following in the stumbling footsteps of Eisner). Rich Ross is an IDIOT. Gives Kermit the Frog a movie while the studio's signature character, a certain mouse, is relegated to entertaining pre-schoolers on TV, with no feature film in sight. There's so much Disney-hating non-talent running that company now that Diane Disney Miller ought to demand that they take the name Disney off of it. It has nothing of its founders class, innovation, creativity or integrity. Disney deserves all of the ridicule it receives as an evil corporate empire. I weep for Walt's legacy...

Anonymous said...

Jesus Steve, why do you have to always sound like you're coming from a funeral? They left the Frank Wells building to go to a BRAND NEW AWESOME BUILDING DESIGNED BY THE SAME ARCHITECT WHO DESIGNED PIXAR. It's BEAUTIFUL!!!!

But yeah, this is somehow bad news...

?!?

And then you wonder why people respond with comments about weeping for Walt's legacy...

Christ.

Anonymous said...

Also, Walt Disney Animation Studios is still there. And while not technically "on the lot," they are simply across the street and have all-access to the lot.

Anonymous said...

"BRAND NEW AWESOME BUILDING DESIGNED BY THE SAME ARCHITECT WHO DESIGNED PIXAR."

Who said the Pixar buildings are anything other than a colossal waste of space, and a prime example of style over substance (the building, not necessarily the films). I've visited friends there a bunch of times, and no one there seems particularly enamored of the buildings at all. Looks like a sardine factory to me.

Anonymous said...

What John and Ed like most about the Pixar building? There' no union in it. They were hoping to recreate that same feel here in So Cal

Christopher M. Sobieniak said...

Interesting to see the comments piled up over something I figured was happening anyway given the way management works these days. I feel sorry for the way things are but it is interesting to see how it affects some people.

Steve Hulett said...

Jesus Steve, why do you have to always sound like you're coming from a funeral? They left the Frank Wells building to go to a BRAND NEW AWESOME BUILDING DESIGNED BY THE SAME ARCHITECT WHO DESIGNED PIXAR. It's BEAUTIFUL!!!!

It's the Sonora Building. In Glendale. Nothing wrong with the building at all. It ain't brand new, but it's very nice.

But you really do miss the thematic point of the post, don't you? The studio in Burbank where dozens of animated classics were created isn't doing animation anymore.

I think it's worth noting. You think it's funereal, that's fine. But it's also reality.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's technically not true. There's still an animator occupying an office in the old Animation building...

:)

Anonymous said...

Direct to video, which is in the 'brand new awesome building',has been off the lot for years, on the second floor of the Sonora building next door.
It's television animation that is being exiled from the FGW building, once and for all. It was a long time coming. TVA once had 4 floors of FGW, and it slowly was taken away, as the Sonora building was used more.
The TVA building is being gutted and renovated.Production has continued in the midst of a construction zone for months. It still looks like the same old Sonora building-and nothing like the 'pixar' style building next door.

TotalD said...

Wow, you would think it was a crime to be sentimental :) It's ok Steve, Jobs dying this week reminded me of something. That the spirit and the joy of a company resides with it's creators. In that sense animation has been gone from the lot for a long time. Both Disney and Jobs were people who didn't take the easy road. Who knew here was something more than the shareholders meeting. Where animation is done isn't as important I think.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's technically not true. There's still an animator occupying an office in the old Animation building...


I don't think Glen is doing a lot of animating.

Steve Hulett said...

Jobs dying this week reminded me of something. That the spirit and the joy of a company resides with it's creators. In that sense animation has been gone from the lot for a long time.

Nothing is forever. Jobs acknowledged that, embraced that, in his Stanford commencement speech in 2005.

Ward Kimball used to talk to college students, using the opening zinger: "Walt's dead and you missed it."

Founders bring a special something to the organizations they found. When they pass, the organization is never the same. Just the way it is.

On a practical level, it doesn't matter very much that animation isn't being done on the Burbank lot. Some of Disney Feature Animation's best work, after all, was done in shitty factory buildings at the Grand Central Industrial Park in Glendale California. Not being housed in the original Animation Building didn't ruin "Lion King" or "Beauty and the Beast" or "Little Mermaid."

But I think that symbolically, the "no animation on the lot" thing is worth nothing. Which is why I noted.

Anonymous said...

Word is Robert Iger is stepping down in 2015.

Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Glen on the 1st floor and Don Hahn on the 3rd...if Ron & John show up, I'd start thinking take-over!

TotalD said...

Having worked at Grand View I agree Steve. There were some big hits created off lot (Lilo was mostly done in Florida as well right ?) and some bad ones like Cauldron created on lot. I'm older so I will miss the stereotype of happy go lucky artists on the lot making magic but I recognize that truth.



“.. almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”-Steve Jobs

Anonymous said...

I don't think Glen is doing a lot of animating.

Also not true...

Anonymous said...

^Since there are no hand-drawn shorts or features currently in production, then yes it's true.

Anonymous said...

Just because something isnt in production, it doesnt mean Glen isnt animating.

So, I'm right.

Anonymous said...

^Animation tests do not really count.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see some originality in Disney television animation. Personally I hate Phineas and Ferb, and I would love to see something more along the lines of Kim Possible. Or at least Duck Tales.

Anonymous said...

Animation tests do not really count.

You really don't know what you're talking about do you? If you don't know what he's doing, I'm not going to spill the beans here.

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