Disney’s twin toon houses draw a distinct line

Mouse, Pixar exhibited, recruited separately at Siggraph

Most attendees on the trade show floor at the recent Siggraph computer graphics confab in Boston seemed too busy scoping out the latest and coolest hardware and software to pay much attention to exactly who had booths there.

But onhand for the confab were Pixar and Disney Animation, in large booths — separate from one another.

Pixar may now be a part of the Walt Disney Co., but the companies exhibited and recruited separately.

One possible reason is that Disney is a union shop, while Pixar is famously non-union, making a full merger difficult.

By contrast, when DreamWorks Animation decided to go 3-D and bought CGI shop Pacific Data Images in 2000, it made a point of integrating the personnel and cultures of the two units, even transferring execs and talent between DreamWorks in Glendale and PDI’s Bay Area campus.

And yes, even as Disney’s live-action film staff was being scaled back, Disney Animation was recruiting. The animation unit was not part of the cuts.

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