Tough New Makeover At Disney Animation

Animation has been a driving force behind Disney’s theme parks, retail stores, movies and TV shows. It also has become one of the company’s most confounding problems. The animation division has suffered through three chiefs in four years. Along the way have come wrenching layoffs, deep cost cuts and the studio’s biggest flop ever, last year’s ‘Treasure Planet.’ Although still considered the market leader in animation, Disney has lost ground to rivals, especially DreamWorks SKG.” So on Monday, a new boss of animation “roiled the ranks when he told a gathering of 525 animation employees that he wants them to produce lush, classic fairy tales – perhaps ‘The Snow Queen’ or ‘Rapunzel’ – entirely on computers. His vision was greeted with dropped jaws by the roomful of artists steeped in the traditional style of hand-drawn animation pioneered by Disney.”