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Disney set to close animation studio

The Walt Disney Co. is expected to close a feature-animation studio in Orlando, Florida, Monday, jeopardizing the jobs of nearly 260 animators, the Orlando Sentinel said.
/ Source: Reuters

The Walt Disney Co. is expected to close a feature-animation studio in Orlando, Florida, Monday, jeopardizing the jobs of nearly 260 animators, the Orlando Sentinel said.

Some artists will be transferred to Burbank, California, where Disney's corporate headquarters is located, but most of the employees, whose credits include the films "Brother Bear" and "Lilo & Stitch," are expected to lose their jobs, the paper said Saturday.

Disney was a pioneer in hand-drawn animation, producing classic movies such as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Cinderella" and "Fantasia."

In recent years, however, computer-generated animation has become increasingly popular as evidenced by movies like 2003's "Finding Nemo," made by Pixar Animation Studios.

The underwater adventure was the top-grossing theatrical release in the United States last year, generating about $340 million.

Disney distributed "Finding Nemo" and has a contract with the Emeryville, California-based company that expires at the end of next year.

No one at Disney headquarters was available to comment.