Disney’s Disneytoon Studios, the Glendale-based studio Planes is shutting down, effective immediately. As reported by Indiewire, a Disney spokesperson said,
“After much consideration, we have made the decision to end production activity and close Disneytoon Studios.”
75 animators and other studio staff will be laid off, though no word was given if they will transition to either Disney or Pixar.
At last years D23 Expo, John Lasseter himself announced Disneytoon Studios’ next feature, “Untitled DTS Film,” directed by Klay Hall and Bobs Gannaway, with an April 12, 2019 theatrical release date. According to today’s report, the Planes spin-off is no longer in development.
Since Lasseter announced last November that he was taking a six-month sabbatical in the face of sexual misconduct charges leveled by staff at both Disney and Pixar, studio executives have been navigating through a potential minefield, carefully gauging industry opinion and weighing potential executive management changes in the midst of releasing what ended up being two of its most successful animated films to date: Coco last November and Incredibles 2 earlier this month.
With the June 9, 2018 report Lasseter would not be returning, followed by the June 19, 2018 appointment of Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter to replace him as chief creative officers at Disney and Pixar, respectively, it appeared the turmoil at the studios might be over. In light of the Department of Justice’s approval this week of Disney’s acquisition of a major chunk of 21st Century Fox Studios’ assets, which include Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios, and today’s Disneytoon Studio shutting it’ll be interesting to see what the famed studio does next.
Disney Toon Studios brought us many classic films most notably A Goofy Movie, the Planes movies, the Tinkerbell movies, as well as all the sequels Disney pumped out in the late 90’s – early 2000’s.