Disney, The Latest Animation News

Disney Animation Lays Off Majority of 2D Animators

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Disney-Hand-drawn-PlutoDisney recently announced that it was to have a round of layoffs. When they made this announcement, they emphasized that it was not because the company was facing financial difficulties, but rather because they want to keep up with the rapidly changing technology.

Well, 2D animation is now old technology, according to Disney. When Disney CEO Bob Iger claimed that they did not have any traditionally animated movies in the works, he meant it for the long haul.

Between yesterday and today, Disney has laid off most of their 2D animators, most of whom were veterans to the industry.

This includes Nik Ranieri, Ruben Aquino, Frans Visher, Russ Edmonds, Brian Ferguson, Jamie Lopez, and Dan Tanaka among others who have not been named. Many of these animators have been with the studio from Beauty and the Beast to The Princess and the Frog.

Animators Mark Henn and Eric Goldberg are safe for now, however, rumor has it that more may let go in the coming days.

This is both shocking and depressing news. As much as we love our CGI movies such as Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled, there will always be a soft spot in our hearts for the traditionally animated movies that we grew up with.

Paperman had us hoping that 2D animation was not dead yet. Now, it looks like 2D animation is gone from Disney for good. While this is by no means the end of our beloved Disney movies, it certainly is the end of an era of our beloved hand-crafted films.

We hope that these wonderful animators are able to find more work as they are truly talented.

In order for you to find out more about these men, who have done so much for Disney, I have posted mini-biographies highlighting some of their most recognized work.

Nik-RanieriNik Ranieri

Animator: Mother Gothel-Tangled, Ursula-The Little Mermaid

Supervising Animator: Kuzco/Kuzco llama-The Emperor’s New Groove, Hades-Hercules, Lumiere-Beauty and the Beast, Charlotte-The Princess and the Frog 

Ruben-AquinoRuben Aquino

Supervising Animator: Adult Simba-The Lion King, Ursula-The Little Mermaid, Maurice-Beauty and the Beast, Chief Powhatan-Pocahontas, Shang-Mulan

Frans-VischerFrans Vischer

Animator: Dr. Facilier-The Princess and the Frog, Winnie the Pooh, Who Framed Roger Rabbit 

russ-edmondsRuss Edmonds

Animator: Aladdin-Aladdin, Oliver and Dodger-Oliver and Company

Supervising Animator: Sarabi-The Lion King, Phoebus and Achilles-The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Kala-Tarzan

Brian-FergusonBrian Ferguson

Animating Assistant: Beauty and the Beast

Animator: Iago-Aladdin, Timon-The Lion King, Meeko-Pocahontas, Panic-Hercules, The Matchmaker-Mulan, Bolt, Winnie the Pooh, Ray-The Princess and the Frog, Tarzan

Brian-fergusonJames Lopez

Animator: Timon-The Lion King, Rock-A-Doodle, Wiggins-Pocahontas, Tipo-The Emperor’s New Groove, Chicken Little, Dr. Facillier-The Princess and the Frog

Dan Tanaka

Animator: Oliver and Company, The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Mrs. Potts-Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin-Aladdin, Zazu-The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules-Hercules, Shan-Yu-Mulan, Clayton-Tarzan, Frog Naveen-The Princess and the Frog, Winnie the Pooh, Paperman, Wreck-It Ralph

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About Alissa Roy

Alissa is a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, studying Media Arts & Technology. Her hometown is in the Middle-of-Nowhere, NY, where winter is approximately 6 months of the year. She is extremely nerdy, and loves all things animated, literary, or Harry Potter related. Her older sister spawned her love of animation by dragging her downstairs at 2 a.m. every morning and making her watch various films until their parents took them back to bed. Some of her all-time favorite films include Mulan, The LEGO Movie, Up, Tangled, and The Lion King. She also collects old Peanuts comic strips, and spends her free time reading, writing for the Rotoscopers, and working a variety of jobs. You can follow Alissa on Instagram and Twitter: @ThisAlissa. See her work here.