Layoffs Begin at The Walt Disney Company

Walt Disney Studios

Amid news this week of impending staff cuts at The Walt Disney Company, reports appeared online Thursday that nine veteran animators were let go from their positions at the Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Tom Bancroft, a former Disney animator, took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon and announced the names of the animators whose jobs were eliminated. According to several online sources the animators receiving pink slips are: Nik Ranieri, Ruben Aquino, Frans Vischer, Russ Edmonds, Brian Ferguson, Jamie Lopez and Dan Tanaka. Industry insiders report that these animators are some of the top names within Disney animation.

In all, nearly 150 employees of The Walt Disney Company are expected to lose their jobs as part of an internal reorganization, following the company’s acquisitions Marvel and LucasFilm. Some in the industry believe the layoffs are a result of overlaps in the organization which occurred after these acquisitions. A 2012 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals the company had 166,000 employees at the end of the last fiscal year.

Earlier this month Disney shuttered LucasArts, the video game division of Lucasfilm. Disney is expected to release second quarter earnings May 6.


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