Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Easy Come, Easy Go (aka: How to make a quick million bucks)


A funny/crazy idea hit me the other day.

They all say that animation is a cyclical business, but it seems like that in the last 10 years Disney has the Whirl-a-Tron set to ludicrous speed. A quick sketch of the history…

  • - Disney spends tens of millions of dollars on a state of the art animation production facility in Orlando in the late 90’s.
  • - Less than 5 years later they shut the studio down. They sell off everything.
  • - Disney buys Dreamquest and turns it into The Secret Lab, an all CG production facility.
  • - They make one film (Dinosaur), half of another (the one Roy pulled the plug on) and shut the thing down after a few hundred million bucks. Everything is sold off.
  • - Not two years later Disney announces they’re getting out of the hand-drawn biz. Burbank will now be an all Cg facility. They invest millions in getting it outfitted and staffed. Remember, they just finished shutting down an all CG shop.
  • - Disney also establishes a second all Cg facility, Circle 7, to do the CG sequels. Again the staffing and equipment needs are brought in.
  • - Less than 24 months later they shut it down when they buy another CG studio, Pixar. Price tag for that deal? $7.4billion.
  • - Now not yet 2 films into the all-CG Burbank Feature Animation era the rumor is that Disney is thinking about making Burbank an all hand drawn shop (again) and letting Pixar do all the CG stuff. If this happens of course they will need to re-invest to revert the studio back to its 2d production capabilities. Again.

Somebody should start a business where they buy used stuff from Disney and sell it back to them whenever they have one of their schizo business decisions. Just put it in a warehouse in Burbank over by the airport and then sell it all back to them at market prices when they decide to get back into the very business they just decided they had to get out of. Tell me you couldn’t have a nice little cottage industry with that idea. Heh.

1 comment:

Keith Lango said...

original comments here...