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A Disney Animation Studio in Florida!
Jud Hurn

When we heard via the grapevine that Disney animated films were going to be produced the year around at Walt Disney World in Florida, we were eager to hear all the details! Fortunately we got the chance this past February when your editor had the opportunity to hear the inside story from Max Howard. Howard, whose first assignment in 1986 for Disney was te set up an animation studio in London for work on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," was working toward the scheduled May Ist opening, when the new studio will begin turning out 24-minute featurette films featuring Mickey and the rest of the Disney gang. Our readers will find his account fascinating — especially since Mr. Howard goes into considerable detail about how Disney will select the people to work at the studio.

Hurd: Why did the Disney organization decide to have an animation operation here in Disney World?

Howard: I think the primary reason is that for some time the company has been thinking about having a studio tour, and you can't set up a studio tour without having animation represented. Beyond that I think we first of all had considered having some type of exhibition. So we decided that the perfect situation was to have a real studio here and we looked at many ways as to how we could best do it. We realized that an artist's work is quite a private operation and that many animation artists like to work under wraps until their work is ready to be shown to the animation director. In spite of these reservations we decided to proceed, so we've taken a building in which we will first of all explain to the visitors, who will be going through the studio in presumably large numbers, exactly how the animation process is done. We begin this by showing our guests a film starring Walter Cronkite and Robin Williams. Through the film Robin Williams becomes an animated character — one of the Lost Boys from Peter Pan. He encounters en route the Crocodile and Captain Hook but at the same time he's seen going from being just a storyboard idea, through animation and cleanup, being inbetweened, having special effects added, being painted, being shot under the camera, and we wind up with the finished film. When the visitors have seen the film, they leave the theater and come into what we call the ‘Tour Corridor'. This will be really a self-guided tour, observing our animators at work. We go through each sequence, starting with the story room and then we move through all the different processes of animation. The tour corridor is approximately 5 feet higher than the floor level on which the animators are working. So we've got our guests higher up looking down. Obviously the animators are separated from the guests by walls of glass.



Source type Magazine
Volume 82
Language en
Document type Feature
Media type text
Page count 4
Pages pp. 42-45


Id 5793
Availability Lendable
Inserted 2021-02-02