Walt Disney Animation Studios

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Walt Disney Animation Studios Reviews

Updated March 10, 2015
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4.2
31 Reviews
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Walt Disney Animation Studios President, Pixar and Disney Animation Ed Catmull
Ed Catmull
18 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 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...

  2. Helpful (1)

    Challenging work, but respect can be stolen.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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!

  3. DQ ENTERTAINMENT INTERNATIONAL PVT.LTD.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - 3D Animator in New Delhi (India)
    Current Employee - 3D Animator in New Delhi (India)

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    ANIMATION IS MY CAREER

    Cons

    There was good environment. but i leave reason of only very far distance my native place.

    Advice to Management

    There management is good.

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  5. visual development intern

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

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios as an intern (less than a year)

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

    Pros

    work with very talented people and also nice !

    Cons

    Everything is challenging, it's a high level work, that's why it is so nice !

  6. The best place I've worked so far

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

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios as a contractor (less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Amazingly talented and friendly people to work with. Amazing working environment and a ton of perks. The best studio I have worked with so far. Great environment for growing as an artist. If you are talented there are so many options for you to move around and grow here. There is a culture that pushes the art side of things higher than other studios I have been.

    Cons

    Hours can get very long and you must deal with the union to be employed. Unfortunately also you have to move to Los Angeles to work at this amazing company.

  7. Helpful (1)

    Great place to work!

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

    I have been working at Walt Disney Animation Studios as a contractor (less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Disney Animation Studio has amazingly talented people that are a pleasure to work with. There is an incredible creative work environment. Ton's of access to everything Disney from upcoming projects to resources like the Disney library and the studio lot which is one of the most amazing places I've ever seen. Great life/work balance. Managers respect you and treat you with the utmost professionalism and it's not just them, everyone at the company subscribes to this. Perhaps because folks that work at Disney feel comfortable that they've made it but this was by far one of the most respectful and pleasant places I've ever worked. The pay is really good. Benefits are great once they kick in ( after working 600 hours if you're not already IATSE, 400 if you are ). Disney Animation offers career coaching which is amazing. There is an open door policy when it comes to this. If there's a direction you want to pursue in your career, your managers will happily help get you there and give you the tools and support you need to achieve your goals. Even for me as a contractor this was available and invaluable.

    The brand is bigger than life. Silver pass is amazing if you love Disneyland/world, have kids, have a pulse ;). Free Disneyland/world for you and your family, what could be better than that? Great extra curricular activities sponsored by company. Disney discounts are great. They own much more than most realize so their discounts are extensive. I looked forward to every day of work, worked hard, worked with amazing talent and still had time to be home for dinner and see my family. Of course if you're the type that just wants to work, work, work, you can do that too. Over all I loved working at WDAS and would happily return.

    Cons

    If you haven't already worked at Disney as a union employee (IATSE) you have to work 600 hours before you can apply for benefits. If you're returning it's 400 hours. For me, being on a 7 month contract that meant that I was paying for my own insurance until the day after I left, but then I had health coverage for the next year covered 100%. The time you're covered depends on how many hours you worked. For me that meant 12 months of coverage, for others it meant 6 months. This is a strange thing that pertains mostly to contract employees and in my situation the day my benefits kicked in just happened to be the Monday following my last day. That is not their policy, just the way it played out for me. Other than navigating the union I have no other cons to report about the company.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work, we notice your efforts and appreciate them!

  8. Rewarding

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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.

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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.

  10. Best way to immerse yourself if you want to learn more about a job that will make you happy.

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

    I have been working at Walt Disney Animation Studios as an intern (less than a year)

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

    Pros

    The people are amazing, and are now lifelong friends of mine

    Cons

    Sometimes there are really long hours

  11. Great experience as a summer intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Learned a lot about the animation process and business

    Cons

    Didn't love living in Burbank.

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