Dreamworks Animation campus Dreamworks Animation campus

Last month, we spoke to Tom Box, co-founder of major U.K. animation studio Blue Zoo, about the future of working. Box told us of his vision for a post-pandemic hybrid model that will combine studio and remote work, freeing staff to live further from the city. As he puts it, Blue Zoo, a long-time pillar of the London animation industry, “is no longer really a London-based company.”

Needless to say, this discussion is being had around the world, as a year of restrictions forces a paradigm shift in our views of work. Case in point: a recent Twitter debate prompted by Jorge Gutierrez, director of The Book of Life and creator of Netflix’s forthcoming Maya and the Three. Addressing L.A.’s animation industry, Gutierrez asked why anyone would want to go back to the studio in the future:

After receiving a flurry of replies from industry artists, Gutierrez concluded in a later tweet that the general mood was in favor of a flexible hybrid model, like the one Box described to us:

While there does seem to be a lot of support for a hybrid approach, the responses to Gutierrez’s question are interesting for how varied they are. We’ve reproduced tweets from leading artists below (with their permission). They reveal that people’s preferences can be conditioned by a range of factors, from union affiliation to the kind of work they do…

Ben Mekler, staff writer on Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, story editor on Final Space, co-executive producer on an upcoming Dreamworks/Netflix series:


Michael Ruocco, storyboard supervisor on The Cuphead Show!, storyboard artist on Looney Tunes shorts:


Matt Jones, storyboard artist:


Sabrina Alberghetti, shorts director, storyboard artist at Disney Television Animation:


Mikel Wellington, character designer on Wendell and Wild and My Dad the Bounty Hunter:


Henrique Jardim, director at Titmouse:


Sydney Lulu, writer/storyboard artist at Netflix:

How do you feel about physical studios? Share your thoughts in the comments, and look for continuing coverage of this topic on Cartoon Brew.

Image at top: Dreamworks Animation campus in Glendale, California

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Related: How Blue Zoo has evolved its post-pandemic workplace

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