David Stainton in as President of Paramount Animation David Stainton in as President of Paramount Animation
Feature Film

David Stainton in as President of Paramount Animation

David Stainton

Paramount has named David Stainton president of its new animation division. Stainton, the controversial former president of Walt Disney Feature Animation, will now report to Adam Goodman, President of the Paramount Motion Picture Group and will begin setting up shop this week. According to the Paramount press release:

“Paramount Animation aims to focus on high-quality animation with budgets per picture of up to $100 million, with an initial target of one release per year. The division’s mandate will be the development of the broadest range of family CGI animated films, with a key piece being titles under the label of Viacom’s Nickelodeon, the No. 1 entertainment brand for kids worldwide. Paramount will also build on Viacom’s already thriving global consumer products business by seeking to capitalize on merchandising opportunities tied to all Paramount Animation releases.

“David’s accomplishments speak for themselves, and I am glad to welcome him to the lot as we start this exciting new chapter,” Adam Goodman added. “With David’s leadership, we will look to build on what has been a very strong year for our studio in animation, with Rango and the upcoming Adventures of Tintin pointing to the kind of artist-driven, broad-appeal films we intend to make at Paramount Animation.”

Paramount announced last July that it was launching an in-house animation division. It expects to release its first feature under Stainton in 2014.

  • simon

    yikes. good luck with that.

    • Former Disney Animator

      David Staiton is the Anti-Christ. (Sorry, had to jump to the front of the line for this one.)

  • amid

    I hinted at Stainton’s arrival in August when I wrote this post:


  • Optimist

    Congratulations, Paramount, you just ruined your chances at hiring good talent. Enjoy the insanity!

    • snip2354

      Good-bye, DreamWorks Animation. Good-bye, Nickelodeon movies (… or what lasted, anyway).

  • Ron

    Interesting. When John Lasseter was announced as the head of Disney Animation, replacing Stainton, I made a prediction that so far has not come true. I thought everyone would follow Disney’s cue and put an animator or at least a person from the creative side of animation, in charge of their animation Divisions. For example: I thought we’d end up seeing Eric Goldberg in charge of WB.
    I know Stainton was in animation before he became president at Disney but in my predicition I was referring to people on a par with Lasseter, Goldberg or Bird. I guess it was wishful thinking on my part.

    • Optimist

      What do you think he did in animation before he was made president at Disney? This isn’t a guy with an (pre-Disney TV) animation or creative background of any kind. He’s a business school graduate.

      • Ron

        Oh OK. Thanks for that correction. I misunderstood something I read a long time ago about him working at Disney TV animation. I thought I’d read that he was an artist but it makes perfect sense that he wasn’t.

  • Sardonic Tuba

    Ah. Well, that’s that, then.

  • Jason H

    “controversial former president”

    Can someone catch me up to speed?

    • Tim Hodge

      If memory serves, in January 2003, Stainton was promoted to president of Walt Disney Feature Animation. Shortly afterward he oversaw the closing of the Florida and Paris studios.

      • B.Bonny

        [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “It is OK to post with a nickname or alias, but your email address (which we will NEVER share publicly), must be a real, permanent email address. Comments with fake or non-permanent emails will be deleted.”]

  • There is so much wrong with this decision that I don’t know where to start.

  • Pedro Nakama

    I think the dog makes all of the decisions and just tells David what to do.

    • If the dog made the decisions, the movies would have been more entertaining.

    • I love dogs. I have 3 dogs. I’ve had dogs all my life.
      That dog? I f—ing HATE that dog. Why? Because he’s DAVID’S dog, and David is stupidity incarnate.

      • Bailey

        Oh come on, please leave the dog out of this, he’s actually the sweetest dog in the world !

    • Hahahahaha I loved that comment XD

      As for this guy, I wouldn’t worry too much. The world will be over in any time now,,, God already took away some good guys and is making famous some crazy obsessive-not-in-the-good-sense-guys, so…

    • Mat Machado

      hahahahahahaha possible

  • Is this still a hardline bargaining tactic with Dreamworks for distribution or is this real now? Where will the desks be I wonder?

    • snip2354

      The desks will be gathered in a junkyard on their sides. … you know… from their owners tossing them in anger.

    • Bud

      You call THAT “Hardline?”


      • Heh, ok let me rephrase then. Is this a tactic, of any measure, trying to get Dreamworks back into Paramount distribution or has that ship sailed, and this studio will in fact be a reality.

  • d. harry

    good god, this is frightening news!!! don’t they do due diligence before they make these kind of decisions. this man has no business being in the animation business. He and Pam Coats should join cyndi woodbyrne in the landscaping business, and stay the hell away from our industry!

  • Dave Smith

    You all CRAZY!
    The more Studios that want to make expensive hollywood animated family junk… the more opportunities I have to get a raise!

    Keep up the good work Hollywood.

    Could you imagine if America had a Miyazaki?
    The majority of us would not be making the amount we make today!
    Here’s to a new job with more money!!!!

    • Assuming the studio is not set up in Singapore, India or Canada.

      • skip wescot

        Cartoons made in Canada?!?! could you imagine?

      • Please don’t misinterpret my remarks to be disparaging to any of those places, I know that there has been great animation made in all of those locations especially Canada and for a very long time. My reply was strictly in regards to the job market in America which is what I was inferring from Dave’s comment as the area being discussed.

    • Van

      As horrific as this appointment might be, competition in this industry is not all that bad for the worker bees. More opportunities in most cases will help put some heat on the big boys to up the ante and maybe think twice before they do their next round of layoffs.

  • eeteed

    is the photo part of his “come see my movie or i’ll shoot this dog” promotion?

  • Nick

    Are there any press releases about this actually being in-house? I read on the LA Times blog that they would be outsourcing all the animation…

  • StopTheMadness

    David Stainton? Seriously? Guess Sharon Morrill wasn’t available? LOL!!!

    • The Ghost of Warner Bros. Past

      This is right on the money!

      Weren’t these two — David Stainton and Sharon Morrill — tied at the hip at Disney? Wasn’t Sharon Morrill some middle-management lunatic/despot who would fire talent that didn’t agree with her incoherent rantings? And Stainton was the park-executive-import who was brought in to be Morrill’s boss and he subsequently supported her behavior and abuse? Or have I been misinformed? I was under the impression that these two had been given their walking papers from our industry. Who left the cellar door open?

  • MArc

    OH BOY
    More generic CG movies and lame reboots.

  • While this guy didn;t do the greatest while at Disney, the current Disney studio isn’t exactly the hub of all things animation that it once was, and that’s with John Lasseter at the helm, who everyone seemed to think would turn that around. We’ll have to wait and see what happens here.

  • I’m betting on the dog.

    • I bet the dog got to the pole first.

      • Chico Marx

        Pea-NUTS to you!

  • akira

    yay more jobs! hopefully he learned from his MANY mistakes and will head a studio that will make more than 1 or two movies before closing shop and laying a whole bunch of artists off. 100 million dollar budgeted films? why not start off a little smaller and not needing to make more than 100 million to make a profit? how about HE-Hog, the movie!!!??

  • What films or shows was he involved with when he worked at Disney studios? I’m having trouble finding any sources.

  • Mike

    It’s sad that these days, studios like this assume that high-quality animation = CGI. This of course isn’t to say that CGI can’t be, I’m just sad they aren’t willing to consider hand-drawn or stop-motion…

  • Shitbird

    WOW. Really? Satan wasn’t available for the position, so they hired David Stainton instead?


    • d. harry

      one in the same.

  • Recent Grad

    Do we know what the location for this new studio will be? I’m sure I’m not the only one interested in whatever jobs might open up from this – regardless of the quality of the films.

    • d. harry

      get a passport ready!

      • Steve Gattuso

        And all shots available for tropical diseases…

  • Jorge Garrido

    So for those of us not in the “know” who is this guy and why is he so bad?

    Is he the guy who oversaw the end of Disney hand-drawn? The “Home on the Range” era?

    • John A

      He was the king of direct to video movies from Disney that featured simple minded scripts thrown together by TV writers and sent to third world studios to be animated on the cheap. Eisner loved the results so much he shut down the American animation studios and released these TV quality “cheapquels” (called so because they mainly stripmined the original classics,and created shallow but slickly packaged replicants)in theaters wher he figured the general public wouldn’t know the difference. The result was an almost immediate cheapening of the Disney image that hastened the demise of the hand drawn feature.

      • Michael

        Yes those direct to DVD sequels were simple minded scripts thrown together and animated on the cheap… BUT ‘sent to third world studios’ is a petty comment. The Disney studio in Sydney, Australia was not a ‘third world studio’ the quality of the ruff and clean animation was of an exceptionally high standard (THE animation NOT the script) especially when you consider that the work was done at 10ft per week per animator as opposed to 2-4 ft pwer week in the US. Australia produced sequels for the ‘Lion King’, ‘Peter Pan’, ‘Jungle Book’, ‘Lilo & Stich’, ‘Brother Bear’ and ‘Bambi’; as well as original titles such as ‘Three Musketeers’. They produced good quality work despite Stainton and Morrill.
        While I agree that they were produced on the cheap, your comments are typically snobbish with regards to ‘overseas’ studios. When any UStudio is able to produce a hand-drawn movie as good as any of those Australian titles on that quota, they will be looking overseas for the talent able to do it!

      • John A

        My Apologies to Austrailia, You’re a beautiful country and your commitment to quality animation is worthy of high praise, I’m only sorry your talents were too often wasted on crappy stories. I think that Disney would have been better off creating original, unique features that could stand on their own, instead of making superficial copies of revered classics.
        I’m sorry if I came off as a xenophobic snob, but even though I’m aware that this is a global economy, I’ll always be fiercely nationalistic where animation is concerned. I’ll always think of hand drawn character animation as a classic American art form. (In other words, I have a tendancy to live in the past.)
        Keep churning out the footage, but please, push for better stories.

  • Frank

    Paramount’s plans are to develop the films with creative executives and writers, do minimal board and basic design work here, but to do the bulk of all work in India, Singapore, and Korea.

    • And still spend $100m on a picture?

      • Chris Sobieniak

        Sad the way the system works.

      • Another set of American jobs going overseas? I guess I gotta go join the EU!

      • Amy

        Sure. Lots of rango was outsourced (I know it shows) to Singapore, but it still cost $180 million. It was a financial money loser for Paramount, who spent another $100 million marketing it.

    • Skeptical

      So they’re going to put an exec with a track record of alienating talented designers and directors in charge, and send the actual production to a country or countries that have never produced feature quality work, all the while spending as much as real studios with real leaders and real production capabilities? I want to meet the financial genius who came up with that business plan.

  • Personally, I’d say give the guy a chance. Wait until more details come out about the new studio and projects – you might be surprised, and in a good way.

  • John N

    The films will be 100 mil because of startup costs initially. After the first feature or two, budgets will remain at the same level in order that those at the top get their substantial cuts. And outsourcing is the name of Paramount’s game. Fatal flaw: they must make a string of box office hits for any of it to pay off. This would be very hard (given the competition) even if they’d hired a genius to run it and they did not.

  • John

    Does anyone know the best way to pitch to Paramount Animation? If we have an animated feature idea? Couldn’t find a web site and don’t have the connections yet. Cheers!

  • wgan

    i didn’t know that guy until i searched in google and some of his quotes popped out, boy, that really shows what type of man he is.

  • Talita Fukumoto

    At least we see him huging a dog besides subordinateds.