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Is the Australian Animation Biz Dead?

Is the animation industry in Australian on its last legs? In a report on SMH.com, the head of Walt Disney Co.'s Australian operations thinks this may be the case with the closing of DisneyToon Studios Australia (DTSA).

However, DTSA gm Philip Oakes is bit more positive. He plans to launch a new animation house in Sydney.

"It is a killer," Oakes said when asked what impact the closure of Disneytoon Studio's would have on Australia's animation industry. There is no real serious animation training in Australia so we do a lot of the training in-house ourselves. That is my biggest concern, that that is going to be lost because Australia has a unique place in animation worldwide so we are working on how we keep it going."

The announcement of the closure came in July with 250 employees losing their jobs. DTSA began operations in 1988, starting with 2D television cartoons, such as WINNIE THE POOH, DARKWING DUCK, GOOF TROOP and ALADDIN. The studio's feature films included THE RETURN OF JAFAR, THE LION KING II: SIMBA'S PRIDE and RETURN TO NEVERLAND. The final project for the studio will be BROTHER BEAR 2.

Oates didnt give any details about his new venture, but did say that he wouldnt rule out working on outsourced Walt Disney projects.

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