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Disney to close Orlando animation studio.


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http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...nment_disney_dc

 

 

Excerpt:

 

The Walt Disney Co. is expected to close a feature-animation studio in Orlando, Florida, on Monday, jeopardizing the jobs of nearly 260 animators, the Orlando Sentinel said.

 

 

 

Some artists will be transferred to Burbank, California, where Disney's corporate headquarters is located, but most of the employees, whose credits include the films "Brother Bear" and "Lilo & Stitch," are expected to lose their jobs, the paper said on Saturday.

 

When will they learn that its good quality writing and engaging stories that make Pixar films so successful and NOT the fact that the films are computer generated?

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When will they learn that its good quality writing and engaging stories that make Pixar films so successful and NOT the fact that the films are computer generated?

 

Never, otherwise there would be NO danger to Disney losing Pixar like there is now. It shocks me that Pixar can make these films and Disney has no idea why they cannot duplicate that success.

 

Thinking it has to do with the animation is just ass backwards. Joey has it right, people really begin to think "oh, a Disney film" because they all became the same. They all had songs, they all had celebrities, they all had cute animal characters, they all had sequel after sequel and lousy toy and game tie-ins. I mean, I love Atlantis because it does try to do at least a little something new, but you can tell what characters were added to appeal to kids and boost up the toyline.

 

Then again, I'm sure the studio execs figure that since Princess Mononoke made no money for them that people don't want a good traditionally animated film, neglecting that: a) the dubbing was not great, and B) they gave it zero dollars in marketing and no push to the public.

 

Crying shame. I was heartened by the rumor that a bunch of ex-Disney types are making their own 2D animated studio to try and show that 2D animation can still be popular. I wish them all the luck in the world.

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Originally posted by Pharmboy@Jan 11 2004, 06:28 PM

I was heartened by the rumor that a bunch of ex-Disney types are making their own 2D animated studio to try and show that 2D animation can still be popular. I wish them all the luck in the world.

They'll need it. Good or not, people just don't seem to want to see an animated film if it's not by Disney or "those guys who made Monsters, Inc."

 

The trend in animation I dislike is celebrity voices, and particularly making the animated character resemble the actor.

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Originally posted by adamsappel@Jan 11 2004, 11:44 PM

The trend in animation I dislike is celebrity voices, and particularly making the animated character resemble the actor.

While I can agree with the celeb voice acting to some extent (though its a payoff between being overly recognisable in a bad way, and some big-name actors being actually good actors on the upside), I'd definitely disagree on the second part.

 

I take it I wasn't the only one seriously struggling with the fact that Final Fantasy has a character that looks so much like Ben Affleck, and yet speaks with the voice of Steve Buscemi? If they aren't going to use unknowns (and we all know that the execs aren't going to agree to that one) then at least some resemblance to the actor we all know is a good thing. Can you imagine the Governator doing the voice of the weedy comedy sidekick?

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Sorry guys, but I really think you're in the minority on this one.

I have all the Disney/Pixar films on DVD, but not one of the Conventional Animated Films. Why you ask? Well I buy them for my son, age 5, and he is immediately engrossed when any of the pixar movies is put in. Conversely a CAT movie is just old hat to him, he sees cartoons daily, it's very likely the movie won't keep his interest long enough to find out if it's good or not.

 

And you guys seem to forget, America is a capalist society. If there is a demand for CAT movies, someone will fill it. ;)

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If CG was such an instant remedy, why did Dinosaur turn into such a massive money pit? Why did Titan A.E. do so badly that Ice Age was nearly canned? Come to think of it, Lilo & Stitch took $273M worldwide, which isn't to be sniffed at, so Disney shouldn't consider traditional animation dead just yet.

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Originally posted by iainl@Jan 12 2004, 03:14 AM

I take it I wasn't the only one seriously struggling with the fact that Final Fantasy has a character that looks so much like Ben Affleck, and yet speaks with the voice of Steve Buscemi?

There were a lot of reasons to struggle with watching Final Fantasy, but would you have preferred Ben Affleck's voice to go with his face (it's supposed to be an *animated* film, Mr. Wooden One-Note) or Steve Buscemi's face/voice (shudder).

 

It's only a matter of time before stars have a bigger say than they probably already do ("I would never do anything slapsticky like that in a real film, so my cartoon can't either").

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I was heartened by the rumor that a bunch of ex-Disney types are making their own 2D animated studio to try and show that 2D animation can still be popular. I wish them all the luck in the world.

 

'Tis more than rumour that ex-Disney animators have gone off to establish their own animation studio ala Don Bluth. Legacy Animation Studios is their name, based in Florida.

 

 

The trend in animation I dislike is celebrity voices

 

 

I agree with you on this, and I take it a step further in feeling that contemporary references in a lot of these animated features are bringing them down, be it a certain degree of contemporary humour, voice artist or, in most cases, music. The structure of Pixar films has allowed for such attributes when the story calls for it... the kind of stories Disney themselves have been trying to tell over the last decade, have not called for many of the songs and childish humour they fill them with.

 

I also LOATHE the wacky smart arse buddy character we've had in many Disney films. Rosie O'Donnel just drives me up the wall in Tarzan, then there's the Martin Short robot in Treasure Planet (that movie just makes me angry full stop), a number of the supporting character cast in Atlantis, and I suppose the two Moose are good example with Brother Bear. I adore Aladdin, but I think it was with the Genie that this trend started to begin, that certainly begun the big name voice talent issue...

 

I've said this before, but Disney is a company who has the audacity to hype up the wonderful films of Hayao Miyazaki, yet fail to learn anything from him or the animation that is coming out of the Far East, and also Europe. I do not believe the Western world is ignorant enough to dismiss animation as something only for children and family alone. If there is anything to be learnt about quality animation used to tell incredibly stories to an incredibly diverse audience, it is to be learnt from Europe and Japan.

 

I am upset Dreamworks lacks the balls to do anything innovative either. Prince of Egypt showed a lot of promise, though again we had smart arse characters for no reason in the form of Steve Martin & Martin Short. They've done little to stray from the Disney formula, despite projects with good potential to do so (Spirit had a lot of potential but was left to be rather average), and of course the Disney formula they've been inspired by is the formula of the last ten years whereas I think Disney?s finest storytelling and animation achievements lie with the Little Mermaid and the majority of the films they predated it.

 

Katzenberg is of course ending Dreamworks SKGs cell animation department as well. I have been too Dreamworks Animation in LA, and it's a marvelous place with such lovely people working there. SKGs stake in PDI seems all they want to do, and I think they also have a non PDI cg film in the works as well. Deeply disappointing, and yet hardly suprising since the idea that all people want now is CG animation is yet another example of Hollywood taking its audience for granted and offering them more second rate products.

 

 

Sorry guys, but I really think you're in the minority on this one.

 

If this were true then the likes of Lion King, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast and other high profile successful cell animated Disney Releases would not have sold by the bucket load on DVD, and they sold well because they were genuinely good animated features. This month, Alice in Wonderland. Later this year, Aladdin. It's all about the quality.

 

Daniel

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Originally posted by Daniel Brecher@Jan 12 2004, 01:02 PM

If this were true then the likes of Lion King, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast and other high profile successful cell animated Disney Releases would not have sold by the bucket load on DVD, and they sold well because they were genuinely good animated features. This month, Alice in Wonderland. Later this year, Aladdin. It's all about the quality.

 

Daniel

The release dates of the movies you entered

Beauty and the Beast - 1991

Aladdin - 1991

Lion King - 1994

Alice In Wonderland - 1951

Sleeping Beauty - 1959

 

These are all great titles, but you'll note the most recent is Lion King which is now a decade old. People have grown to expect more from their movies. And you seem forget that the market is driven by money, if people were chomping at the bit to get good cell animated movies, someone would be making them, and disney wouldn't be closing down they're studios.

I'd also like to throw in that I own "It's a Wonderful Life" on vhs, but it doesn't mean I prefer my movies to be black & white, nor does it mean I like vhs. :roll: In other words, please don't tell me that the rerelease of the films above means anything more then people liked the original at the time, it certainly doesn't mean they would do well in theatres today.

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Then please don't tell us we're in a minority, because it's not true. The world is simply not that narrow minded. It'll only take one big successful cel animated feature to come out of the Western world for studios to kickstart projects again. It's the ridiculous way the studio system works. Not enough for consumer to vote with their voice for them to make a decision, only their wallets.

 

People have grown to expect more from their movies

 

I wish I could agree, but I think public demand for quality in film is lower than it has ever been in the history of cinema. I think many know they deserve better, which is perhaps why they embrace the odd truly excellent major film when it does come along, but many cinema goers are as much to blame for the spate of garbage coming out of Hollywood as those making it are because they put up with so much they shouldn't have to. Expect more? Sure. Accept less? Constantly.

 

People want good stories, they don't really care how they're presented to them be it on 16mm, 35mm, DV, 65mm or HD Cam. They'll see it if the content appeals. The trend of medicore cel-animated freatures will only translate into a trend of mediocre CGI ones. The main appeal will forever be story and character. You can only dazzle an audience with visual trickery for so long.

 

Daniel

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The trend of medicore cel-animated freatures will only translate into a trend of mediocre CGI ones. The main appeal will forever be story and character.

 

Couldn't agree more. Those previous films mentioned are timeless for a reason and I'd be more than willing to say that they would still a be box office successes if they were released today. The Little Mermaid isn't a fantastic movie because its hand drawn but because it has an almost perfect combination of story, character and music that never stops being entertaining.

 

Could these stories all be told by means of CGI? Sure they could but why not make more traditionally animated movies? Spirited Away proved what an absolute joy traditional animation can still be. Hell there are some anime films that are as jaw dropping any CG movie created and I do still believe the western market can continue to produce films of that quality if given a good story to work with. Let me clear and say I am in no way opposed to CG animation, in fact I downright love the Pixar movies and thier respective appeal but not at the cost of what has come before and what can still be.

 

Thats almost akin to saying 2D gaming should become extinct because its an outdated concept which I find to be absolute bullshit.

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Indeed. I think another exceptional thing behind Pixar films is they actually make good use of being computer animated. The teams at Pixar genuinely try to make the best use they can of the technology the use to animate with, yet at the same time still let it take backseat to the story and the characters. Ice Age offered nothing in the way of argument as to why it had to be CGI. It was simply a "jumping on the bandwaggon" decision of which there will be many, many more.

 

No Pixar film as they stand today would translate into cell simply because the films are structured so well for the environments one can conjure up on the computer. This will not be true of all, indeed most, computer animated features just as the cel animated features weren't fully exploiting the best cell-animation has to offer. The brilliant minds working outside of the US know no bounds in where they can take traditional animation.

 

In other words, please don't tell me that the rerelease of the films above means anything more then people liked the original at the time, it certainly doesn't mean they would do well in theatres today.

 

I wanted to add, if Disney is still planning to go ahead with the vile idea of its CG "re-imagined" versions of some of their classics (Pinocchio was one of them) it will be interesting to see how they perform to the ?world only wants CG? mentality.

 

Daniel

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Not enough for consumer to vote with their voice for them to make a decision, only their wallets.

Your money is your vote, that's the way business works. Disney can't keep dumping money into a failing sector of their business.

 

I wanted to add, if Disney is still planning to go ahead with the vile idea of its CG "re-imagined" versions of some of their classics (Pinocchio was one of them) it will be interesting to see how they perform to the ?world only wants CG? mentality.
I'd guess it would be disatrous. As you note translating the pixar films back to cel animation wouldn't work, the same likely holds true in the reverse scenario.

 

 

You can continue to believe that Disney is wrong in cutting back on 2d animation, but again disney is a business, they're just slicing off a piece of dead wood. And again, if there really is a market out there, someone will fill the void, does it really matter if it's disney?

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Disney can't keep dumping money into a failing sector of their business.

 

That's true enough, but I think the argument here is about WHY that sector of the business is actually failing, rather than whether they should operate at a loss.

 

You pointed it out yourself when you listed the last few "blockbuster" Disney titles, they haven't blown off the roof since The Lion King, because everything since then has been, largely, extremely formulaic. And, in addition, the quality dropped off, because the Lion King is fairly Disney formula itself, but it is told well and therefore works.

 

Look at Hunchback, that movie is a dire train wreck of something that is dying to be mature and dark but isn't much of anything at all.

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Exactly Mark.

 

they're just slicing off a piece of dead wood.

 

Thats the point, they helped turn it into dead wood. Its not a dead business because its not viable but because they ran it into the ground with sub-par product. Its almost like a person wrenching thier hand in a vice and breaking every bone there is to break as if they didn't know any better. Now, do you go to the doctor and get medical care to rehabilitate that hand back into good working condition? Or do you just cut the entire hand off? Disney is choosing to cut off a perfectly good hand because it really doesn't know any better. I know, I know thats an oversimplification of the situation but helps get the point across. ;)

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Disney is choosing to cut off a perfectly good hand because it really doesn't know any better

 

It's just become a situation, typical of Hollywood, where those in charge are frankly too stubborn to admit when they are wrong, and where they have made a mistake. Far be it for the chiefs to admit their animated products of the last number of years have been sub-par... Instead, the blame rests firmly on this magical "new consumer demand" for CG animation, that both Disney and Dreamworks heads believe to be true. Then they have the audacity to also put blame upon the writers and animation teams themselves, despite the fact R&D budgets were cut, and more emphasis was made to be put on the animators to work on these straight to video spin off sequels.

 

Daniel

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Originally posted by Pharmboy@Jan 12 2004, 04:11 PM

You pointed it out yourself when you listed the last few "blockbuster" Disney titles, they haven't blown off the roof since The Lion King, because everything since then has been, largely, extremely formulaic.

Actually, I think he was saying that kids today don't give a shit about whether or not it has a great story, if it's 2-D animation like they see in cartoons everyday, why should they be excited about it? Sadly, I think that's probably true of a lot of kids. I always had to twist my brother's and sister's arms to get them to watch a black-and-white movie, and I was lucky if they even watched to the end, no matter how good the film.

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if it's 2-D animation like they see in cartoons everyday, why should they be excited about it?

 

Be that as it may, people/children happily went to see those 'classic' Disney movies during the 90's when the Saturday morning cartoon scene was a helluva lot more active than it is now. Not to mention the fact that animation on TV in the past couple years has become increasingly lower budget and crude, to the point where it has no chance of competing with well-done feature animation.

 

Maybe that won't lure the kids back, but that still doesn't mean a good story won't. We really don't have anything in the past couple years to actually compare it to.

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CG films are not 'more engrossing', but rather the CG films (Dinosaur excepted, what a piece of dreck) have been better written in the last 10 years.

 

Thrown on top of that is that the fools at Disney have diluted the quality of the hand-drawn films even further with the 'cheapquels'. First these poor quality sequels were Direct To Video, but now they release them in the theater. This, combined with the poor writing of the 'main' features, has resulted in their audience no longer expecting quality in hand-drawn films.

 

Eisner has thrown away the long view and is looking for any short-term gains and cost savings. Why? Because the board is breathing down his neck and threatening to sack his ass.

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Lets not forget that switching to computer drawn animation doesn't necessarily mean nothing will be 2D. There is 2D animation done on computers now that looks like it could be traditional animation. The Simpsons, for example, is done on computer now, and while Southpark doesn't look hand draw, it doesn't look like Nemo either.

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Originally posted by Pharmboy@Jan 13 2004, 02:59 AM

Be that as it may, people/children happily went to see those 'classic' Disney movies during the 90's when the Saturday morning cartoon scene was a helluva lot more active than it is now.

Another BoxOfficeMojo-aided fact, then. Way back in the mists of time, 1998, over $100M was taken by The Rugrats Movie, working on a $24M budget; successful enough to spawn two sequels. That not only used the same hand-drawn style as a Saturday morning cartoon, it was a Saturday morning cartoon (and not as well written as the best episodes were, either).

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