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Subject:  Bonuses on "Frozen" Date:  4/26/2014  12:53 PM
Author:  esxokm Number:  49379 of 52230

Here is an interesting item on Disney not paying bonus monies to animators who worked on "Frozen" who were laid off before they had an opportunity to get the bonus. In contrast, workers at the studio who did not participate in production activities on the film received a bonus. Thus, there is an argument as to the inequity of the situation.

Here's my take.

It's difficult to form a proper opinion on this because I do not know how much animators make. I am going to assume, however, that it must be decent money, especially considering that it is a dream job that talent does for the love of it. Yes, obviously people need to be paid, and paid well, for this line of work; still, this work is a lot different from other forms of labor, especially manual labor.

Disney, in my opinion, should strive to keep as much money as possible in its coffers. Therefore, I think bonus monies should be generally eliminated from compensation structures (that goes especially toward management). There really is no need to give animators a bonus; they will work just as hard on any project. It's just as ludicrous to give voice talent on an animation film millions in bonus dollars just because a cartoon turned out to be a hit (see "Shrek").

If Disney wants to pay animators more money, it should do it. Just don't go on the theory that a bonus will ensure a hit. That's like saying options provide incentive for employees; I'd argue they do not.

All of that being said, it was discriminatory of Disney to do what it did. I would have paid the laid-off individuals a bonus. This is another reason why bonuses should not be paid: ambiguity of fairness.

The best line from the piece, which almost seems to argue my point, comes at the end. A Disney exec said the bonus "was because of 'Frozen' but not about 'Frozen'." I believe that. I also believe that it puts into question the management, and more importantly, the maximization, of profits. Hit films like this don't come around all the time; once a phenomenon asserts itself in the marketplace, it should be exploited on an excessive basis on behalf of shareholders.
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