August 16th, 2003

Eye of the Dragon

Pencils down. Disney terminates traditional animation

Suspended Animation, by David Koenig.

Disney is getting out of the 2-D Cel-Animated feature biz -- a business that Unca Walt founded all those years ago. They've laid off 1,500 animators. Even their 3-D ambitions seem rather subdued.

Looks like they're going to try to coast on their theme parks, live-action studios, TV and cable networks, and eighty-something years of back catalogue. I don't know -- it seems like they tried that before, during the Lame Animation period of the '70s and '80s. Maybe they've diversified enough to survive. Maybe Disney really can be something other than, well, Disney. Maybe they can run on the strength of characters who are icons and products rather than actual characters.

This is why they're pushing so hard for the Eternal Copyright -- they've given up on making new product.