Cause & Effect

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Posted by Charles on August 23, 1999 at 16:09:43:

In Reply to: Disney Canada posted by toronto lowdown on August 23, 1999 at 06:18:52:

I disagree with your conclusions.

First of all, if Disney in Canada is a sinking ship, it's certainly not the fault of the artists down here. Disney's TV Animation management hasn't really done anything to keep that division going except to develop clones from Disney features, with a semi-original concept every now and then, and spend a lot of money on themselves by shipping production to you. Guess they ran out of ideas for duck cartoons. Their TV animation unit is being consolidated into the feature division as has already happened with their direct to video department.

The Disney Corporation is having a tough go of it right now. Team Eisner is under a lot of pressure from the company's shareholders due to the deflated price of its stock. Disney got itself involved in professional sports and bought the Anaheim Angels baseball franchise in addition to owning the Mighty Ducks. The Angels are in last place and among the worst teams in all of professional baseball. Both teams are up for sale. Also, they haven't had any live action blockbusters to speak of recently. The only thing that is really working for them right now as far as film entertainment is concerned is feature animation, their core industry.

What you folks are going through is something that we've been routinely dealing with for years. Now you know what it's like.

I find it difficult to understand how you can assess the influence of our movement down here when you are several thousand miles away from the center of this activity. Your trivialization of our efforts isn't a big deal as we're not out to prove anything to you. Animation Nation was set up for the animation artists in L.A. The rest of North America got involved, and that's fine with us. If you're not supportive, so what. We have our agenda and we're going forward with it whether you think we're actually being effective or not. It's happening. That's what matters.

Our counterparts north of the border could do well to learn from what we're doing in L.A. For one thing, we are not your enemies and we are not the source of your problems. What is happening down here is very real and it's spilling over into many aspects of entertainment. Who takes credit or responsibility for our progress is not important. The issue is that we're doing something instead of sitting around waiting for the next upswing to hit and depending on these empty headed phonies for our livelihood, careers and the progress of the art and industry.

I have no doubt whatsoever that the re-evaluation of animation management by Disney has something to do to a greater or lesser degree with this movement. In addition, several non-union studios have voted to become Union shops since this thing got started. I'm quite confident that our collective efforts are being felt. How about you Canadiens? Why aren't you organizing?

If you're going to sit around waiting for the psuedo-producers to bring you work, I wish you the best of luck and happy days. Fact of the matter is, you don't need them. None of us do. What they do can be contracted out. As time goes by, you're going to see more and more productions controlled by artists, more and more animator owned studios down here. You can continue to depend on the executives in L.A. or you can come to terms with what's going on and set yourselves up for the future. The choice is yours.

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