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Disney’s newest animated film release, “The Princess and the Frog,” is a return to its roots of hand-animated films. Despite the success of Pixar computer-generated films vis-à-vis recent Disney hand-animated versions, Pixar co-founder John Lasseter believes “Princess” will work. Lasseter believes box office success is due more to plot and characters than animation techniques. The shift back to hand animation, after switching from that form to computer animation in 2003, has not been easy. Many of the hand animators employed by Disney were laid off and much of the equipment was in storage.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What issues of performance and change are associated with Disney’s decision to switch from hand animation to computer generation and then back to hand animation?
  2. What are possible reasons for Disney’s decision to lay off Ron Clements and John Musker?
  3. In terms of some of the general issues associated with work today, how would you describe the changes taking place at Disney over the last five years? Describe the changes in terms of talent, technology, and careers.

SOURCE: E. Smith, “For ‘Princess,’ Disney Returns to Traditional Animation Style,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704746304574508552919095862.html)

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