While one part of the Mouse House is faring better than ever, another part continues in its decline.
In the comment section of a post on The Animation Guild blog, Steve Hulett (Business Representative and resident blogger) responded to a commentator’s question of what is going on at DisneyToon Studios.
Quite frankly, the news isn’t too good: “DisneyToon Studios, as of now, is pretty well kaput.”
He says that while the building remains and looks very nice (as expected), much of the studio now gets used as extra space by people who work for Disney’s main animation unit (reportedly while the main Walt Disney Animation Studios building undergoes renovation).
This is all due to the fact that DisneyToon is hurting in its numbers. As Hulett explains:
When Planes II under-performed, layoffs at Toon started happening in earnest. Most everybody under the Toons banner is gone.
We covered these layoffs before, back when Planes: Fire & Rescue was still in theaters. What we also knew back then was that DisneyToon rode that rocky road for a while. In Deadline’s report on the layoffs, Steve Hulett also remarked, “There has been two waves of layoffs in the last year at DisneyToon Studios. And this has occurred at the same time that DreamWorks Animation has had layoffs, so I think it has a big and hard impact on the animation community.”
With Planes 3 uncertain and its once-popular Disney Fairies line of Direct-to-DVD films now retired with the release of Legend of the NeverBeast, DisneyToon now lies in what could best be described as a state of internal limbo.
When asked if DisneyToon will shut down, Hulett suggested otherwise: “I don’t think the division is shut down, but I don’t know of much active development going on.”
In summary, DisneyToon Studios (or what’s left of it) doesn’t seem to have a very bright future ahead. I don’t know what the studio will have to do to keep going, but I do know that it must something and do it soon.
What do you think? What can DisneyToon do to right the course?
EDIT: We just received a written statement from a DisneyToon spokesperson:
“Disneytoon Studios’ filmmakers are actively developing multiple projects, which will be announced at a later date.”
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes