Local reaction to Walt Disney Studios’ decision to open two new animation facilities in Toronto and Vancouver is cautiously optimistic.
The optimism stems from a general feeling that Disney will bring new jobs and new growth to the already healthy production infrastructure of both Canadian cities.
The caution comes from those local producers who worry that Disney – which plans to hire 100 animators in each city – may hurt other studios by draining the already strained talent pool.
‘We’re thrilled at the prospect of having the expertise of Disney in this town,’ says Toronto film commissioner David Plant, who points out that Disney’s presence will likely bring about a repatriation of Canadian animators who were forced to leave Canada in search of jobs.
The Toronto and Vancouver Disney studios are expected to work on direct-to-home videos and television product.
Another major U.S. animation studio, Hanna-Barbera, is said to be looking outside its borders to set up a studio. A Hanna-Barbera spokesman confirmed that the studio is looking at possible sites in Europe, but the talks are in the very early stages. ‘We haven’t even set a timetable,’ the spokesman said.