The Truth About The Animation Industry’s Recent “Setbacks”
9 min readMar 13

There has been a lot of negative news whirling around about the animation industry lately. Whether it’s about layoffs at Netflix or unreleased projects from Warner Bros. and HBO MAX or unmet box office expectations by even the likes of PIXAR, there seems to a ton of turbulence surrounding the world of animation. I have worked in the animation industry for over 20 years, and I have survived its ebbs and flows. Times like these are nothing new, and to be honest, we’ve survived times that have been a lot worse.

Words like that can be cold comfort, however, if you’ve just lost your job or if you’re trying to break into an industry that from the outside feels like it’s retracting. But here is one of the great things about working in the animation industry. There is always a place for someone willing to think outside the box. There are opportunities in animation across multiple platforms that simply don’t exist in live action.

Do you want to work in features? There have never been more studios involved in making feature animation. Of course, there are the giants like Disney/PIXAR, DreamWorks, and Illumination. But Netflix is still making features, despite its recent layoffs. Paramount and Nickelodeon are together and making features. If stop-motion is your thing, Laika has built a successful model as well. And there are plenty of smaller shops that are making features and creating beautiful work.

TV animation is also booming. The aforementioned Disney, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, and Netflix all have robust TV animation divisions that are creating a wide variety of content with tons of opportunities for artists and production alike.

Then there is the world of video games, which only really exists in animation. The video game branch might be the most volatile, but there are a lot of incredible opportunities to create animation there that you won’t get anywhere else.

Then, of course, there is VFX. It’s another volatile branch of the industry, but it offers different opportunities. When you work on an animated feature or TV show, you will likely be on the same project…

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