Friday, May 27, 2016

In and Out of the Studios

It's been a hectic week.

The Simpsons shifted production from Film Roman to Fox Animation in January, but they remained at Media Center north on Hollywood Way (pictured above) until last Friday. As of this week, the Yellow Family resides at the Pinnacle in Burbank. (The show has not relocated to FA's Wilshire offices, where American Dad and Family Guy are created.

The crew has begun to settle in and production was rolling along when I walked through this morning. Packing boxes are still in evidence, but most everybody is in their working spaces, bent over their Cintiqs and going strong. ...

Warner Bros. Animation also has a production unit at the Pinnacle, something I didn't know until a few days ago.

A little history: in the 1980s, Warner Bros. Animation lived in a medical building on Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake. To say they were small would be an understatement. They were damn near microscopic, existing in a couple of rooms on a quiet second floor, doing a bit or repackaging of old cartoons and the occasional commercial.

At the dawn of the '90s, Warner Bros. Animation was located in Sherman Oaks at the Galleria, ramping up to do Tiny Toon Adventures with Steven Spielberg. The division steadily expanded production over the next half-dozen years, then hit turbulence and downsized, retrenching on the Warner Ranch in Burbank.

Warner Bros. Animation occupies four different buildings on the lot ... and more if you count trailers as separate buildings.

Today, Warner Bros. Animation has a robust production slate and newer units away from the Ranch at the Burbank Studios (formerly NBC) and the Pinnacle. WBA finds itself riding the same profitable tailwinds that propel Disney, DreamWorks and Fox. For almost all of our fine, entertainment conglomerates, cartoons have become steady and reliable profit makers.

And the profits don't seem as if they'll be ending anytime soon.


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