Disney animators chide studio chiefs

A number of Disney animators are expressing strong dissatisfaction with the direction of the studio since the departure of Jeffrey Katzenberg and his replacement by Tom Schumacher, with several saying that the current emphasis has gone from featuring character and story to showing off whiz-bang graphics. In an interview with the New York Observer, Disney animator Tom Sito remarked that Katzenberg “doesn’t give notes like ‘That character’s hair is the wrong color.’ He says, ‘I don’t believe he loves her, and without a love story you don’t have a movie.'” Another animator told the Observer that recent Disney films may be “technically proficient but very deficient in terms of storytelling and character.” The publication also quoted from a note posted on the Motley Fool Web site last week by 20-year Disney veteran animator Dave Pruiksma who, referring to Disney’s latest release, remarked: “With Atlantis, it was more about filling the screen with action than developing characters and story. And that’s what makes Shrek popular–the writing and the vocal performances.”