Walt Disney Animation Studios

www.disneyanimation.com
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Walt Disney Animation Studios Reviews

Updated June 17, 2015
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3.8
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Walt Disney Animation Studios President, Pixar and Disney Animation Ed Catmull
Ed Catmull
16 Ratings

27 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Production Designer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Burbank, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Burbank, CA

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great artists, good working environment.

    Cons

    Management tell you they want to keep you as a staff, please don't go look for work else where. When the project done, they tell you they don't need you anymore and lay you off.

    Advice to Management

    keep your word. or just say upfront the company don't need you after the project done.


  2. Great place to work ...especially when they are doing well financially.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lighting Artist in Burbank, CA
    Current Employee - Lighting Artist in Burbank, CA

    I have been working at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Get to work on great projects. Friendly work atmosphere and opportunities for growth.

    Cons

    Some management types tend to play favorites but overall studio seems to drive for transparency in its dealings. Focus on the work and you will be recognised if it meets or surpasses the studio standards.

    Advice to Management

    Keep being an artist driven studio striving to do better all the time, value the relationships with artists and allow them opportunities to surprise you. Would like to see more diversity in management & creative areas.


  3. great people

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios

    Pros

    lots of talented people to learn from

    Cons

    a lack of clear direction from managers

    Advice to Management

    listen to your employees while making long term plans


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (2)

    It's a fun place to work, employees are generally treated well, and the product is high quality, but politics.

    Current Employee - Technical Director in Burbank, CA
    Current Employee - Technical Director in Burbank, CA

    I have been working at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The output is first-class. Your parents and their friends will know where you work. You get to go to Disneyland for free. Lots of talented people work here.

    One good thing is that the company is uber-stable (for now). Everyone else is going out of business, or has been bought by Disney. Their business model and use of strategic and synergistic couplings of companies is unmatched.

    In general it's great and people are nice, but there is a dark side...

    Cons

    Politics are sometimes a bit crazy, certainly in the TD department. Favorites are played, and so are anti-favorites.

    The company tends to be personality-driven. By this I mean that a department's policies and culture are determined not by figuring out what works best, but by the likes and dislikes of the most influential members of the department. This results in some strange and inefficient practices.

    Ed Catmull (and probably John Lasseter) were/are ringleaders in the wage-fixing debacle in the animation industry. Not nice, if you consider greed and rampant self-interest to be not nice.

    There are no contracts. They try to sell that as an advantage to the employee, but let's be real...


  6. Helpful (1)

    Challenging work, but respect can be stolen.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Burbank, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Burbank, CA

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time (More than 10 years)

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Lot's of leading edge challenges. Your peers are top of the field and generally great people to work with. Technology is "part of" production so you are not treated like a third-party vendor like at many other studios where an artificial wall is placed between the two.

    Cons

    Middle management tends to "manage up", meaning they are more concerned with what their boss thinks of them than what their team needs. Credit is often stolen or dolled out to other people if it makes the manager, or perhaps the team, look better -- no matter how much work the appropriate individual put into the project. Despite the call of "you can move around there are so many interesting projects" you actually tend to get stuck on a project until it dies (with a few noticeable great exceptions).

    Advice to Management

    Treat your developers more fairly. Don't promote subpar developers to be managers. Let efficient teams manage themselves instead of installing artificial management schemes on top (scrum for groups with team sizes under 2 is nonsensical). Don't "normalize" your teams performance scores if your team actually DOES perform better than another managers team!


  7. Rewarding

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CG Animator
    Current Employee - CG Animator

    I have been working at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Creative people and friendly work place.

    Cons

    Hours can be long to finish projects.


  8. In 1994 the TV Animation Department was autonomous from the rest of the studio but we held our own

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Supervisor in North Hollywood, CA
    Former Employee - Supervisor in North Hollywood, CA

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    In 1993 -Our shows we edited were our shows, we didn't have anyone consistently looking over our shoulders

    Cons

    Due to that we stood on our own we weren't always able to utilize all the studio facilities.

    Advice to Management

    Nothing from the years I worked there, it was perfectly fine.


  9. It's been great to work here.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Animation Trainee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Animation Trainee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There are a lot of friendly, cooperative workers. They are really helpful and as a team, we create wonderful, great movies.

    Cons

    However, there're quite a lot of work, which causes stress and pressure, especially when you start. It might take a while to get used to.

    Advice to Management

    Good job!


  10. Studio that respects the artists

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - great people to work with
    - talented people
    - lot's of out of the box thinking

    Cons

    - lots of history that makes it hard for new people to "fit in"
    - executive team not at one page

    Advice to Management

    let go of the past


  11. Helpful (4)

    Pros and Cons, just a wider margin

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time (More than 8 years)

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Nice benefits, individual offices with doors are great for focused work, amazing talent under one roof.

    Cons

    Amazingly short-sighted leadership that focuses on retaining employees who are young, cheap, and lack experience. Very little loyalty to individuals who strive for long-term payoffs.

    Scheduling is poor; the studio dictates a release date, but the leadership takes far too long to put the work into production, which leads to unnecessary tight schedules that are completely unreasonable. Artists work hours off the clock to meet these deadlines, and management turns a blind eye to it because there is no other option. Rinse, repeat, but with a tighter schedule the next film.

    Advancement and retention is skewed by how well you manage your relationship with your boss. No turnover of leadership, and very easy to get pigeon-holed in your job. Cross-departmental shifts are rare. Lots of closed-door politics.

    Advice to Management

    The major complaint has been work/life balance. The complaint is #1 year after year.



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