Features
Dream On Silly Dreamer
© 2004 Dan Lund & Tony West
Jake Friedman · From fps #8 · June 26, 2006 | In 2002, Walt Disney Feature Animation shut down its Burbank traditional animation studio in favour of focusing solely on a new CG department. This was the studio that Walt himself built and which had produced classics since 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Soon after the studio shut down, the studios in Orlando, Paris, Tokyo and Sydney all followed suit, laying off more than 1,300 people.

The funny thing is, there was very little commotion in the press about the layoffs, an issue that would surely have left a bad taste in the mouths of the public, who had grown up with the classic films. Then the animators noticed that the few blurbs to reach the papers were describing the halt in traditional animation as only temporary. The Disney PR department appeared to be releasing false information, and Disney's era of drawn animation was deliberately being fizzled out quietly.

Dream On Silly Dreamer
Directed by Dan Lund
West Lund Productions, 2005
40 minutes

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Enter Dan Lund. Lund started at Disney in 1989 as a production assistant and worked his way up as an effects animator through films like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. Back at that time, there was still an air of the original magic at the studio with a common heartfelt investment in the projects that were being produced. It was to recall these glory days that Lund set out to document the stories of the recently laid-off Disney animators. Almost four years later, his videotaped interviews became the documentary Dream On Silly Dreamer, produced by fellow Disney animator Tony West, and focusing on the closing of Disney's traditional feature animation studios.

Want to read the rest of this feature?

You'll find it and many other articles in the June 2006 issue of fps, available for only $1.49 US.
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