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Laid-off ‘Frozen’ Animators Frozen Out by Disney

Animators laid off by Walt Disney Animation Studios are left in the cold after the studio hands out some big bonuses.

Animators who were laid off by Walt Disney Animation Studios following the completion of its Oscar winner Frozen were left in the cold after the studio handed out some big bonuses, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter.

Steve Hulett, business representative at IATSE Local 839, reportedly has received complaints from animators that Disney handed out bonuses to those currently working in the division whether or not they had worked on Frozen. The bonuses, amounting to 10 weeks’ pay, arrived last week on Thursday. 

Frozen is now the top-grossing animated film of all time, having surpassed $1.1 billion worldwide.

Hulett acknowledged that bonuses are discretionary, adding, "my issue is philosophical" and that it's "morally bankrupt" to not give the bonus to those who worked on the entire picture.

“I called the studio and talked to an exec,” Hulett related, explaining that he was told the “studio policy is people working in the division, whether they worked on the picture or not, get bonuses.” He outlined the exchange in a blog post on the Animation Guild website.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.