Wednesday, January 21, 2015

At DisneyToon Studios

But "At Walt Disney Animation Studios In A New Location" would be closer to the truth.

I was over there today, doing my rounds, spreading TAG joy. The building (which looks like a small cousin of Emeryville's Pixar) is in Glendale, and is now filled with a lot of feature animation staff, many of them busily working on a Theatrical Feature Which Must Not Be Named because (you know) Diz Co. hasn't announced the feature yet, even though news of its existence bubbles up in various places on the internet.

One artist said to me:

"We drew the long straw! Much better to be here than in the Tujunga Avenue building!" ...

What this gent is talking about is, now that the hat building is under interior renovation, different feature units have been shipped off to different Disney owned buildings in the Valley.

The majority of people were sent to what is actually on okay structure in a less-than-scintillating part of North Hollywood -- the wilds of Manufacturing Land on the west side of Bob Hope Airport's major runway. (And anybody who's anybody wants to live and work under the landing patterns of a metropolitan airport. Yes indeedy!)

But it isn't the building that's a problem. It's the down-scaleness of the neighborhood, and the lack of eating establishments. Ah, well. At least it's temporary.

But back to Disney-Feature-in-Glendale. Cubicles are now filled again with feature artists/technicians, and more cars are parked in the big lot in back of DTS. During the last half of 2014, most of the office spaces emptied out as Disney's home video business model was put on ice, projects were cancelled, and several waves of layoffs emptied out the Glendale studio.

But now, happily, the facility is in use again*, thanks to the remodeling that is starting on Riverside Drive.

* DisneyToon Studios is also occupied by Disney Educational and the DisneyToon shorts program, which is (last time I checked) still in business. But newer Direct-To-Video features? Not so much.


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