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Disney Will Close Canadian Doors

Rumored since last fall, Walt Disney Animation Canada Inc. announced

Monday, February 14, 2000 it will close the doors of its animation studios

in Canada by the spring. Opened in 1996, the Toronto and Vancouver branches

of Walt Disney were created to produce primarily direct-to-home video films

in connection with Walt Disney Television Animation. The company slowly

started winding down production last fall and will completely close around

April. A Disney spokeswoman said the studio had initially opened in Canada

because it was on an "accelerated" schedule to produce animated programs.

"We don't really need to work on the accelerated time frame that we had in

the past, that the marketplace required previously," the spokeswoman said.

"The timetable that we can turn out projects [in] is not in as high a

demand from the consumer." The Canadian branches at one time employed 220

people. This closing comes at the same time Canadian-based companies like

Nelvana Ltd. and CINAR have been receiving large bids to produce animated

TV series for U.S.-based companies like PBS and Fox.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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