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Hello Friends of Disney Animation.

I am the same Supervising Animator David Pruiksma that left the studio after some 20 years of service and I have just begun reading the comments about the current state of The Walt Disney Company. I am very happy to see that there is a lot of good information out there about what is going on, but I am afraid there is an awful lot of conjecture and speculation that is very far off the mark as well.

Let me begin by saying that I, too, am a Disney Stock holder and have been for many years. In fact, I have quite a few stock options left from my previous contract that I have been holding onto, hoping that the stock would rise before I am required to sell it. Unfortunately, it looks as though they will be worthless to me for some time while Disney Studios goes through this corporate catharsis.

Still, it would be worth a loss of these funds and much more to see the corporate parasites who, along with their friends, have come to the studio in droves from the ailing New York Theater Business and commenced strip mining The then grossly undervalued Walt Disney Company of it's assets since day one.

I strongly believe that the creative talent to carry on the Disney legacy of animation, creativity and trend setting is still at the studio (in the form of it's long term artists animators and directors) and ready to move ahead with quality ground breaking product. In deed, the problem is not found in the artists, who share a common devotion and a drive to create great animated films, but in the leadership of the company. There is nothing left from the past for this corporate regime to exploit into the ground, (even the "Pooh" franchise is wearing thin) and it is clear that there is also nothing creative within the current management team to draw from. So, it is time that the powers that be become the powers that were by leaving the studio before any more erosion of the foundation takes place at their hand.

Disney Animation is NOT a franchise and the people that make the movies are, for the most part, uniquely skilled and highly irreplaceable making the current cut backs look even more short sighted and fool hearty. I think it is good that the stock holders and the media and the public are finally starting to ask the hard questions of the reigning hierarchy at Disney. It is time they became accountable for their irresponsible activities. Their contempt for the hard working artists that actually make the films is palpable and the remaining long term artists feel that the attack on the creative staff and their salaries is both personal and unwarranted. Rest assured, none of these executives are suffering while Walt Disney's beloved studio crumbles around them. Oh, except perhaps for Mr. Schumacher whom, I am told, recently lost the service of the butler in one of his residences.

In closing, let me say that the current exodus of talent from the studio, (including myself) is NOT based on salary cuts or alleged finance troubles or budgets, as these executives would like the public to believe. I know the people leaving or planning to leave and it is about creative stimulation and the freedom to explore possibilities and share ideas with other artists, not managers. It is about the love of the medium and art form and the unwillingness of these artists to aid in the process of running it into the ground. In fact, several of the top artists that have already left or will be leaving the studio made the decision to do so long before any talk of lay offs and salary cuts were made so any allegations made by studio executives are erroneous at best.

Let's stick to the facts and hang tight to what we love about Disney as we all go through this necessary purge. I still hold to the hope that things will get better as the changes to Feature Animation and it's parent company come.


Dave Pruiksma
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