Here’s the email that Walt Disney Feature Animation President David Stainton sent out today.
From: Stainton, David
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2006
To: All Employees
Cc: Iger, Robert A.; Cook, Dick
Subject: passing the torch
an old blessing reads: “may you live in interesting times.” well, apparently we are actually living in those times!
as a result of the changes announced today, i will be leaving animation after 14 amazing, exhilarating, frustrating, exhausting, and very wonderful years. this will happen quickly, as John and Ed are ready to jump right in. they are truly icons of our world, so i can’t feel TOO bad about passing the torch to them. please welcome them as warmly as you have welcomed me.
most of all, i want to make sure that you know the purchase of pixar is NOT about a lack of confidence by bob and dick in what we are doing. on the contrary, in recent days they have gone out of their way to praise what we’ve accomplished. they know what we know: we have rebuilt animation at this company, landed a hit our first time at bat in CG, built amazing teams at circle 7 and dts, and have a fantastic slate of projects going forward. these are great achievements, recognized by everybody who has watched us grow over the past three years. my real wish for you is to feel proud, confident and excited about where you are going.
as exciting as it will be for me to strike out in a new direction, my home will always be here. you’ve taught me everything. i will always love you, your talent, and the great movies you make.
And don’t let the cute dog fool you. Just so there’s no mistaking about Stainton, here’s what the director of a recent Disney feature had to say about him, just prior to Disney’s purchase of Pixar. (Both director and feature shall remain unnamed to protect the innocent.)
I LOVE the idea of Lasseter taking over Disney Feature! The only thing that would be better is if David Stainton is tazered, maced, and peppersprayed, and then frogmarched out of the building, stuffed into a burlap bag and thrown into the LA river. Oh, and a video of the above in an easily downloadable format for my iPod.