Hand Drawn Animators Included in Layoffs at The Walt Disney Company

During the past couple of weeks reports began surfacing about impending staff cuts at The Walt Disney Company, and by the end of the week the cuts became official as nine veteran animators from the hand drawn animation team were let go.

Tom Bancroft, a former Disney animator, tweeted out the names of the animators from his personal account on April 11. Several online sites also listed the names. The veteran hand drawn artists who lost their jobs are: Nik Ranieri, Ruben Aquino, Frans Vischer, Russ Edmonds, Brian Ferguson, Jamie Lopez and Dan Tanaka.

Industry insiders report that these animators are some of the top names within Disney animation. Many are also speculating that the termination of these artists means that hand drawn animation is a becoming a thing of the past for The Walt Disney Company.

These layoffs are the beginning of a reorganization that began after an internal audit was ordered several months ago by CEO Bob Iger and CFO Jay Rasulo in an effort to identify departments that needed to be reorganized to meet new business models. The audit and impeding layoffs follow the company's recent acquisitions of Marvel and LucasFilm.

While no exact numbers are known with regard to possible layoffs, some sources say nearly 150 employees will lose their jobs. On April 10, The Walt Disney Company confirmed the company is laying off employees in the studio division. More cuts are expected in the home entertainment, marketing, and technology divisions. Earlier this month Disney closed LucasArts, the video game division of LucasFilm.

According to a 2012 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, The Walt Disney Company had 166,000 employees at the end of that fiscal year. Disney is expected to release second quarter earnings on May 6.

Story by Traci C., Source

PirateGirl wrote on Wed, 04/17/2013 - 00:56:

Wow that is a shame. I know computer generated animation is the thing but there is nothing like a hand drawn animated character.

Susan Mocsny Thomas wrote on Wed, 04/17/2013 - 01:11:

Susan Mocsny Thomas's picture

What a crying shame! I know that my grandsons enjoy Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and I have watched with them, but computer animation is not the end-all, be-all. There is much to be said for the Disney tradition of the most exquisite hand drawn animation. Pure art form.

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 04/17/2013 - 19:25:

Kristen K.'s picture

I couldn't agree more ladies, this just breaks my heart. I would much rather watch hand drawn with beautiful watercolor back grounds like Lilo & Stitch.

Trish wrote on Wed, 04/17/2013 - 21:41:

Trish's picture

I think this is just horrible! Walt would be livid as well. Much as he would have embraced modern technology, he would have insisted hand-drawn animation remain at the forefront of the Disney co. Shame on you Mr Iger & Mr. Rasulo for not realizing this!

fred appel wrote on Sun, 11/17/2013 - 03:31:

fred appel's picture

Walt Disney must be turning over in his grave. The reason that the company grew from nothing to a global name was because of the Animators. Now, the last vestige of my childhood is put out to pasture due to the constant change in technology.
Apparently no one at Disney realizes or cares about their roots anymore. I wonder how long until they fire Mickey...

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. If you have a Gravatar account associated with the e-mail address you provide, it will be used to display your avatar.

More information about formatting options