TOKYO - Walt Disney Co will
close in early June its Japanese unit that has handled
production of hand-drawn animation, as part of a move to
reorganize its animation business globally, The Nihon
Keizai Shimbun learned on Wednesday.
entertainment and media giant is shifting from
traditional hand-drawn animation to three-dimensional
(3-D) productions involving computer graphics, and will
consolidate its animation operations in two locations,
including California, where the company is based.
Disney will be shutting down its Tokyo studio,
Walt Disney Animation (Japan) Inc, which was established
in 1989 and produced material mainly for television and
Of the 100 or so personnel there,
about 30 will be transferred to Disney's US headquarters
or to affiliates. The remaining 70 or so plan to
establish a production company independently, aiming to
launch it in June around the time of the shutdown.
According to Disney, the company places much
emphasis on quality, and because of this, it sends work
out to directly run studios at home and abroad instead
The company established the unit
in Japan because it highly regarded the ability of
Japanese artists. However, as successful animated
features in the US recently have been done in 3-D using
computer graphics, some have pointed out the high costs
and low returns of hand-drawn animation.
Apr 9, 2004
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