Saturday, March 24, 2012

Glen Keane's Departure

Glen has, apparently, ankled Disney.

And there is, apparently, some gnashing of teeth and rending of garments:

Glen Keane left Disney today. Let me die. It is truly the end of an era. #justleavemeheretodie ...

Crying because Glen Keane resigned from Disney :'( no hope left in this world ...

To which I say:

"Wha ...??"

All this angst. You would think that the Pope has gone off and become a Buddhist. But here's the way it is in the business of animation: Almost everybody in the cartoon industry moves from one studio to another studio in the course of their career. For all kinds of reasons.

Glen, last I heard, was in the old animation building on the main lot developing projects. Now he has tendered his resignation. Maybe he was having "creative differences" with the powers that be, maybe it was something else.

All I know is, when I talked to him in the hat building some months back, he told me he "was looking around" at different options and wasn't sure he would stay at Disney past Tangled. He didn't seem particularly ferklempt about it. He'd enjoyed his run but thought he might go elsewhere.

This is a business people, not a religion. Disney ceased being Disney when Walt and Roy passed from the scene. There have been three regimes since then. The Disney Co. is a large, fairly lucrative conglomerate, but there are no stained glass windows in the Hat or Team Disney buildings.

To those that are weeping salty tears today because Glen has elected to pick up his hat and boogie elsewhere I would recommend: Have yourselves a good cry and get over it.

Add On: Our fine trade paper reports on Glen's resignation here.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was those mime jokes in Tangled....

Anonymous said...

Well.
Then it's clear by what you write, that your opine has no more value than the following:

"Glen Keane left Disney today. Let me die. It is truly the end of an era. #justleavemeheretodie ...

Crying because Glen Keane resigned from Disney :'( no hope left in this world ... "

You only have a top-tiered platform in which to state it.

So with the ridiculousness of all those wanna-be armchair-animators out there expressing their grief, supposedly overridden by your insider-knowledge priviledge of actually speaking to him and gleaning what is now in hindsight a statement become reality, I say to you (in which I bet you'll reply "Wha ...??" ): get over it.

Oh hum, I guess its more fun to feign the suppression of crocodile tears in the midst of those who need a good cry. It makes you look bigger.

Anonymous said...

He left, ok, and from the sounds of it he is going elsewhere. Good for him, even at his age he is willing to try new things and will probably pull it off all while have the time of his life. People should focus more on why would he want to leave a place that brags they are open to change and only seek the best artists. I wish him the best.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's interesting. I like to wonder if he wants to work at any studio of his choice anywhere in the world for awhile, before moving on to another studio of his choice for awhile. Maybe trying something new, maybe living somewhere else. All those delightful possibilities that he richly deserves. I salute the explorer in him that perhaps just wants to see what else is out there. And he's in a very inviable position to be able to do just about whatever he wants. If I wore a hat I would doff it to him. Bonne chance.

Anonymous said...

That's all well and good, and you can easily wave it away by saying "it's the way of the world" and pointing out that animators often change studios, but I don't think it's *that* hard to comprehend people's attitudes when you consider that I'm well into my thirties and, aside from a brief blip ~25 years ago, Glen has been at Disney *my entire life*. And for animation fans younger than I who grew up on the "second golden era" films, he was a constant fixture throughout.

So yeah, maybe a lot of other animators from that time have already moved on. But maybe that's just another reason people are reacting as they are. There's been a slow "drip drip drip" of well-known Disney vets such as Andreas D., so Keane's departure has a symbolic value people are reacting to as well. And with a lack of 2D stuff in the pipeline at Disney (not sure the status of Ron & John's thing), folks are probably feeling this as more of a loss for the company than a loss for Keane himself. Although anytime you leave somewhere you've worked that long, it's bound to be jarring.

So maybe it's all overwrought, but I certainly don't think it's inconceivably understandable.

Steve Hulett said...

I guess its more fun to feign the suppression of crocodile tears in the midst of those who need a good cry. It makes you look bigger.

Fake the suppression of fake tears?

Let's expend emotions on things that matter: Murder, civilians killed in war, hungry children, brutalized spouses.

Glen Kean electing to exit from the Disney Company after a very nice thirty-six year run (or whatever the exact length is) deserves a:

"Oh. Mr. Keane's moving on. Interesting. ... Honey, what's for breakfast?"

Period.

Floyd Norman said...

Well, the way I see it is, Glen's departure marks the end of an era. Much the way we kids felt when Walt died. Sure, life goes on, and the big mouse house will continue making money. But, something profound as taken place as far as I'm concern.
Maybe I love this damn business way too much and I'm getting sick watching it being screwed over by people who don't give a rat's ass about it.

Anonymous said...

And who are these people you refer to that are screwing it over and don't give a rat's ass Floyd?

Your buddies from Pixar are the ones running things now. Ed Catmull and John Lasseter, the gods of filmmaking, story, and the saviors of animation remember?

Glen probably wouldn't have left if the studio was open to doing the projects he was developing. The blame for Glen's departure rests squarely on the shoulders of the pretentious computer geniuses from Northern California.

stevenem said...

Floyd,

"..the way we felt when Walt DIED???"
For God's sake, Floyd, Glenn didn't die! Calm down. For all we know, his departure from Big Mouse is a good thing. It may mean that some studio is now gearing up for a 2-D feature to be directed by Mr Keane. It's a crisis for fan boys, not professionals.

Steve, I think you meant "ferklempt," (Goyish dislexia?).

Anonymous said...

"Let's expend emotions on things that matter:"

Yes I agree, but what matters (at the moment) to the armchair wannabe's that you are citing has to do with this event right here and right now. Elsewhere in the world, for example, we have a dead teen who was shot by a rogue wannabe cop. And as of this morning, 6 people are dead from a housefire in West VA. THOSE people are crying. We ALL need a good cry from time to time. Even you. Just because this event doesnt make you cry because "you knew all along" and "not at all surprized" because of your lofty postion, doesn't mean you cant be called upon when you look at the wanton eyes of those you are citing so you can say "now calm down children, the world isn't going to stop now".
It aint. And Disney is going to go on, just like without Walt and Roy.

I just hope out of all this, Glen is going to do his own project. I'd love to help. Pipe dream.

Anonymous said...

--> The blame for Glen's departure rests squarely on the shoulders of the pretentious computer geniuses from Northern California.


It was pure coincidence that his heart attack came just a few months after he was removed from Rapunzel by his old "friend" John....

Anonymous said...

Not only that, but floyd didn't know Walt, and Walt had left the Disney studio mentally LONG before floyd was hired.

Lasseter had nothing to do with Keane's departure. And Lasseter and Keane are still very much great friends.

It's sad for Disney to lose their TOP and best character animator of the last 40 odd years. Someone who was so generous with his time, and educated an entire generation of young animators.

Woodrow said...

As an animation outsider who enjoys the work of genius that comes from the heart and pencil, I will certainly miss the work of Glen Keane coming out from under the Disney banner. Since story boarding the likes of The Fox and the Hound and The Rescuers Down Under, his personal and spiritual passion has come across on screen in a way few other actors can muster. My tears fall because no other company than Disney seems to be willing to probe the depth of human emotion and triumph in animation as Disney, at least in broad circulation, not even Pixar. By my outsider observation, Glen Keane was at the forefront of this depth. He will be missed. Blessings on his future endeavors.

Anonymous said...

**Not only that, but floyd didn't know Walt, and Walt had left the Disney studio mentally LONG before floyd was hired.**

Sez you.

And Floyd did know Walt. Or at least, he worked for him.

Steve Hulett said...

Floyd had multiple story meetings with Walt on "Jungle Book." He's among the last of JB's story people who's still alive.

And it's splendid to know that an anonymous commenter has the inside scoop about when Walt Disney checked out mentally.

Anonymous said...

Walt had checked out before then, and I'm sure floyd was in the room (!).

Anonymous said...

"Get over it" you say. Sheesh.

Try telling that to the millions of fanboys still crying over John Carter's disappointing performance.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Disney that would make a 38 year animation icon want to leave?

Anonymous said...

Wow! It sucks to have a business rep who fails to understand that some of us still have passion for this biz and give a damn when someone who has inspired us has left a studio that "created" American animated features.

AFter talking with you several times during your walkabouts at some of the places I worked, I surmised that you didn't have a fondness for this business, mainly due to the execs.

But when creatives want to take the time to express their feelings about something that has meaning for them and you just shrug it off and tell them to get on with it? Well it puts you into the same category as those same execs you are suppposed to be keeping in check.

Anonymous said...

Just Please......for the love of God.... Tell me Glen is not going to work for Dreamworks...

Steven Kaplan said...

Wow! It sucks to have a business rep who fails to understand that some of us still have passion for this biz and give a damn when someone who has inspired us has left a studio that "created" American animated features.

Gee .. its really amazing when the membership, or maybe NOT a member, takes a bruise to the ego when Steve puts up an opinion.

Glen Keane isn't dead. Glen Keane will most likely continue to be a great artist for quite a few years. Glean Keane, for whatever reason, left Disney. Disney, because Glen Keane is so talented, is lesser for it.

The world still spins, Animation continues, and so do we. Disney will continue and I, personally, look forward to see what Glen is going to do next. It seems to me, he can pretty much write his own ticket.

One of Hulett's regular mantras holds true here:

"Everything is arbitrary and everything is temporary"

Throw some grey matter at that as opposed to bravely tilting at windmills here.

Anonymous said...

Sorry that I dob't subscribe to your beliefs. It isn't a bad thing to take note and care that an important animator has left an important company. Or what that means for the direction that company is taking and what that means for us working there.

Not surprisingly - neither of you guys get it.

Anonymous said...

What drives me nuts is that everyone is wildly blaming Disney for this. Glen wants to do his own thing for his own reasons. Stop with the Disney hate already.

Anonymous said...

Actually, you don't get it.
Glen is a hell of a good animator. He has not been really animating since Treasure Planet. He's finally left a place that would not give him a chance to animate any longer.
It's an end of an era, but for Glen that era ended years ago. He's been spinning his wheels for years trying to remake himself and fit in and he; most likely has come to the conclusion that he no longer fit at Disney for whatever reason. maybe he no longer wants to animate and they don't want him to direct (that seems obvious) or maybe if they do have a 2D film in the pipeline he can't see himself working on it for whatever reason.
The point is for most of us professionals it is indeed a shrug of the shoulders and time to get back to working.
Glen's leaving doesn't really effect anyone but Glen.
If you, as a fanboy, want to masturbate to some of Glen's animation you still have plenty of ability to do that whether he's at Disney not animating or at some other studio or at home.
At least if he's left Disney you might get some new spank material from him in the future...

Anonymous said...

"Gee .. its really amazing when the membership, or maybe NOT a member, takes a bruise to the ego when Steve puts up an opinion."

I know I've worked more union shops than you.

Steve Hulett said...

But when creatives want to take the time to express their feelings about something that has meaning for them and you just shrug it off and tell them to get on with it? Well it puts you into the same category as those same execs you are suppposed to be keeping in check.

"Creatives?" We know this how?

See, I've actually talked to Keane about his leaving. And he thought it was a natural thing to do. Was looking forward to it.

So. When anonymous commenters weep and wail about Glen VOLUNTARILY exiting the Mouse House, I think it's over the top, you know?

And frankly, I've no idea if anonymous persons here claiming to be "industry veterans" who've talked to me actually are. So I am just the teensiest bit skeptical that I know any of them.

I wouldn't presume to get into anyone's head regarding their "passion" for the industry. I have plenty of passion from my end. Sorry if my thoughts about Keane choosing to go elsewhere offend you.
With time, your hurt will diminish.

Anonymous said...

The Disney haters need to stop already! Everyone at Disney is really happy to be working there right now. There is a great energy, tons of great talent, and exciting projects in the pipe! Yes, its sad that Glen is moving on to explore some personal projects that he wants to work on, but I cant wait to see them!

Anonymous said...

Speaking as an observer to this fray. Maybe Steve took to seriously the quotes about crying etc.

I think the sentiments are that they are sad to see their hero love a place they like. "Their didn't seem to be any WTF was Glen thinking?" More like "Wow an era has ended". Which to me is a compliment to a great guy and great animator.

Myabe since you are telling people to get over it Steve. I'll tell you to just say "Hey guys, it's sad to see a fixture leave but take it from me, he's doing what's best for him which I'm sure you all agree is the right thing to do."

But if the attitude is that there are more important things in the world to take a moment to tweet about, then maybe follow your on advice and resign and rep a charity or political group instead.

So to sum up:
People who are really crying about Glen leaving - grow up!

Union reps - try using some tact when dealing with those you represent.

And in the spirit of this board you, me and everybody just fuck off!

Steven Kaplan said...

It isn't a bad thing to take note and care that an important animator has left an important company [...] Not surprisingly - neither of you guys get it.
Wrong. We get it, and have both commented on what it could mean for Disney and Glen. I just don't get the tears and wailing. Disney wasn't just Glen. Yes, lets all realize Glen has left. But to take it to the extreme is just silly.

I know I've worked more union shops than you.
Not hard to do, I've never worked in a union shop. I bet you're not an active member now and are scarred to post your name out of fear.

And in the spirit of this board you, me and everybody just fuck off!
Love it!

Anonymous said...

"Not hard to do, I've never worked in a union shop. I bet you're not an active member now and are scarred to post your name out of fear."

So your not a member? Hmm and you are calling out someone for not being one either? Or belittling them that they are on inactive status because they can't find union work

Classy man.

Steven Kaplan said...

Nope, I'm an employee. I'm belittling someone anonymously taking swipes at Hulett who I feel has nothing more to do with TAG then a healthy-sized shoulder chip.

Am I wrong? Prove it by using your name.

Anonymous said...

Is Keane's ex-job up for grabs, then?

Anonymous said...

It always is, even when he was there. Are your feet big enough?

Anonymous said...

"Is Keane's ex-job up for grabs, then?"

About 6 of them. But he was (and still is) worth every penny.

Anonymous said...

For the folks drinking the "cartoon brew", Disney was great and will always be great, even when the last artist who made it great has left the building. There's no way those talented artists could possibly do great work elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I dunno. As an employee, you probably shouldn't be belittling anyone. This is the problem that I think some have with the Guild. We all don't fit your standards. Members or not.

If posting anonymously is such a problem as it seems to be with some of the TAG employees. Maybe you shouldn't allow anonymous posting. Just an idea.

Steve Hulett said...

If posting anonymously is such a problem as it seems to be with some of the TAG employees. Maybe you shouldn't allow anonymous posting. Just an idea.

The TAG executive board has no issues with anonymous posting.

If people are really bothered by it, I suggest you come to tonight's General Membership meeting and voice your discontent.

Otherwise, anonymous posters complaining about other anonymou posters is a "meh" so far as I'm concerned.

diablo said...

No crocodile tears here,but Glen was the reason I chose animation as a viable profession,many years ago. He raised the bar of this art form.

d.

Anonymous said...

About 6 of them. But he was (and still is) worth every penny.

More like 20, right?

Anonymous said...

One of my old Animation Magazines that cannot get rid of features Glen Keane working on Oliver and Company. For me his departure seems to be the bookmark for a era. I can't say that Glen Keane's huge income didn't make people pause but it always seemed worth it to hold on to someone who was the bridge from the Disney of old. Glen had a passion and unique drawing style that set him miles apart from the rest. Even if he was working on the Chipmunk Adventure there was something magical about his moving drawings. His artistry with a pencil is something special and will be missed on the Disney global entertainment platform.

I suggest the time of the star animator is perceived to be over. Once an animator floats above the rest with his or her acting ability they begin to itch for more. No longer content to be like the 9 old men they follow some kind of siren song to be a director. Of course it can be a mistake as not every animator has great story ideas. It is clear in Disney's Robin Hood that when the animators were given free range to come up with ideas that those ideas were strung together thoughts that added up to nothing. It is not clear why Glen was replaced on Tangled but his heart attack speaks to his unhappiness.

So I am sad about Glen leaving as I want animators to have the same name recognition as they did during the 9 old men era. Our animation directors are the current stars even if they do a half good job directing. It is time for the animators to sit up and take notice of the outpouring from the animation community for a wonderful ANIMATOR.

dawnemperor said...

I don't think anyone wants to force Glen Keane to stay at Disney. Animators move from studio to studio, that's a fact. However, the impact they have on a studio can range from minimal to defining. It's a bittersweet feeling, and it's symbolic of how things at Disney have changed.
So let these people mourn how things change, because you know what, that's how people deal with things as well.

Chris Critic said...

I worked on Tarzan. I met Glen during my stint with Disney.
He is hands down the most inspiring person in the business.
I was just a kid then. The baby-du-jour. And then I was gone. Projects wrapped, visa expired, picked up by another studio back home.

I was really lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from him. I know what it feels like to leave the very place that was your ideal dream job location. Sure there are other studios, but to say you worked at Disney for any length of time is a badge of honor.

Wherever you end up Mr. Keane, continue to inspire. And if you ever need help finishing a film... call on me any time - love to repay that debt.

Alfadoodle said...

Im happy he left! Hopefully he can be a driving force to make the marked understand that 3D should relax!!! I really hope he will be one that can somehow turn around the trend again in favor for 2D!!

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