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Immersed in Movies: Disney Animation Lays Off Hand-Drawn 2D Vets

by Bill Desowitz
April 11, 2013 8:29 PM
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How sad and ironic: A week after the wonderful "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" 25th anniversary celebration at the Academy, Disney lays off some key hand-drawn 2D animation vets as part of its studio-wide downsizing.

According to former animator Tom Bancroft, who posted Thursday on Twitter (@TomBancroft1), "Gone are Nik Raneri, Ruben Aquino, Fran's Visher, Russ Edmonds... Brian Ferguson, Jamie Lopez, Dan Tanaka. Safe for now are Mark Henn and Eric Goldberg."

These artists represent some of the cream of the crop of Disney's second renaissance. So much for keeping the 2D legacy alive, despite the valiant efforts of John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Disney Animation Studios ("The Princess and the Frog" and "Winnie the Pooh").

Around 150 Disney staffers were let go on Wednesday (less than 5%) as part of an ongoing effort to streamline operations in keeping with new paradigm shifts in social media and digital distribution platforms. Divisions hardest hit were home entertainment, production, distribution, and marketing.

Animation Scoop Contributing Editor Bill Desowitz is owner of Immersed in Movies and a regular contributor to Indiewire's Thompson on Hollywood.
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More: Disney , Immersed In Movies


  • Chack Fiala | April 12, 2013 7:24 PMReply

    I bet they need to hire some more executives who can't write or draw.

  • Justin | April 12, 2013 1:15 PMReply

    This is awful. I'm definitely for hand-drawn animation! I'm glad that Eric Goldberg didn't get laid off.

  • DarylT | April 12, 2013 2:25 AMReply

    Expected but sad

  • Oscar Grillo | April 12, 2013 12:35 AMReply

    Sad but not unexpected.

  • Tony McCarson | April 11, 2013 8:49 PMReply

    There should've been campaigns, non-violent protests, and non-violent freedom-fighter movements against the greedy corporate leaders of The Walt Disney Company!

    We must unite & fight! (in a non-violent way)

  • Charles Brubaker | April 11, 2013 8:47 PMReply

    Mark my words, I'll open my own drawn studio someday. I'm working on it!

  • Chris Sobieniak | April 15, 2013 7:34 PM

    I wouldn't mind being a part of it if you're open to freelanced work!

  • Stephen Persing | April 12, 2013 1:55 AM

    Need a story man?

  • John Pannozzi | April 11, 2013 8:54 PM

    I'll do so, too, maybe in a few years.

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