Thursday, June 13, 2024


Former Disney animator takes company to task in his own movie
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Former Disney animator Dan Lund. (MPR Photo/Eugene Cha)
A former animation artist at Walt Disney Company is taking the company to task for abandoning hand-drawn animation for its movies. Disney is relying now on computerized animation, and one of its human artists has made a film critical of that decision.

St. Paul, Minn. — A film that uses hand-drawn animation is being shown in downtown Minneapolis Thursday, one day before the Walt Disney Company -- which pioneered the technique -- opens its annual shareholder meeting in the city.

But the movie isn't a celebration of the company's hand-drawn animation unit that created box office hits like "The Lion King." Instead, it's a film about Disney's decision almost three years ago to lay off its entire team of 300 animation artists, and kill a movie-making art form that Disney pioneered. Disney has decided instead to rely on computerized animation for its films.

The film which will be shown at the Block E theaters, "Dream on Silly Dreamer," was made by Dan Lund, who was one of the animators that was laid off.

Lund talked about his film with Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer. He says he started thinking about making it as rumors of layoffs circulated among co-workers.

To listen to their interview, choose the audio link in the right column.