Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Closings

At the Mouse, I was once again in the hat building, and a second-floor staffer related:

The lighters and finalers are doing seven-day weeks now, getting Frozen finished. The rest of us are on regular schedules, since production on the picture is over for us [last of Frozen's animators have pretty well wrapped]. The newer shows are just ramping up. ...

Other feature players tell me that "production is going to be stretched out on the next couple of features. The production time on Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen was pretty compressed."

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, the curtain (axe blade?) came down on an old perennial ...

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) will close its Toontown Online video game for kids after 10 years, as the company’s interactive unit shifts resources toward the larger Club Penguin and to mobile games.
Toontown, in which monthly members form teams to fight evil robots, will stop operating on Sept. 19. ... The game made its debut in June 2003 and Disney has said it was the first massively multiplayer online game designed for kids and families. ...

The change leaves Club Penguin as the only so-called virtual world operated by Disney. The site, acquired in 2007, is the largest of its kind, according to Disney. The company has been adding more themed content tied to characters from Star Wars and Pixar films like “Monsters University.” On the Toontown site, Disney suggests players move to Club Penguin. The site had more than 200 million penguin characters created, according to a July report by Variety. ...

So production on the new feature closes a few weeks before Toontown goes dark.

4 comments:

Steve Hulett said...

Several days ago, I was asked where Clay Kaytis was.

I thought he was still at Walt Disney Animation Studios. But as of last week (I'm told) he has gone north to direct some animated project.

Don't know the name of the project. Don't know if its in Canada or the U.S. of A. But I thought I would share what I was told by an artist in an office near Clay's old one.

Good luck to Clay.

-- Steve H.

sotiris2006 said...

Is anything moving at the hand-drawn front at WDAS? Is the medium really dead at the studio?

Steve Hulett said...

Feature-wise*, I would say the hand-drawn format is more extinct than a passenger pigeon. But Lasseter himself has said hand-drawn shorts will continue to be produced.

* To the best of my knowledge.

Floyd Norman said...

I predict hand drawn animation will return someday. However, not anytime soon. Probably under the reign of a future Disney management.

I'd give it 15 to 20 years, and I'm being optimistic.

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