Walt Disney Animation Studios Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Walt Disney Animation Studios Reviews

Updated 15 Jul 2019

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3.4
56%
Recommend to a Friend
57%
Approve of CEO
Walt Disney Animation Studios CEO Ed Catmull
Ed Catmull
35 Ratings
Pros
  • "working with amazing talented people(in 9 reviews)

  • "Fun work environment: lots of relevant industry events, screenings, and weekly team building activities(in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • "Sometimes middle management can be very set in their ways(in 4 reviews)

  • "The hours can get pretty long, especially during crunch time(in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (3)

    "Unfortunately not... the happiest place on earth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Artist 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits package (perks), working at a legacy studio with some of the greatest artists and talent on the planet, very comfortable building with inspiring artwork gracing the halls, parking on campus and decent food options both on campus and near by.

    Cons

    A dismal Onboarding plan for artist (depending on department). Reactionary management and poor show supervision. Fear based management tactics, employees are afraid to loose their jobs, or get pushed out of their department and not get to go back, or be written up by show leadership and there's little recourse . Most employees have little experience outside Disney and they're afraid to leave or look to see... what's available in the industry whether it be software, workflow, tactics and so it's a bit outdated in approach (like most legacy studios).

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    You have a very hierarchical management structure and the past management style is ingrained in your culture. The department's leadership is lacking in empathy, strategy, and you no mechanism for artist's voices to be heard or defended. It's an environment where there seams to be a lack of fairness.

    Walt Disney Animation Studios2019-07-16
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Visual Development Artist/Back Ground Painter 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Good studio to work for

    Cons

    I have no cons to offer

    Walt Disney Animation Studios2019-04-30
  3. Helpful (9)

    "Big company, but great if you find your niche"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Burbank, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    -Interesting and challenging projects -Work with other industry leaders across the massive Disney corporation -Work with rockstar artists (do other artists have their own instagram hashtag?) and industry renowned technical folk -Ambitious future plans -Fun work environment: lots of relevant industry events, screenings, and weekly team building activities -Open environment for publishing work and ideas,... encouraged to attend various festivals, conferences, and industry shows. Open Houses to shmooze with other industry folk. -People generally seem positive and dedicated -Rolling opportunities to pitch new risky ideas -Decent compensation and benefits for the work-life balance, though not at the $$$ level with the 5 Big Tech companies. But at least you don't need to shower after slinging ads or selling/leaking personal information to nefarious organizations. -Work on movies at an iconic company with an almost 100 year celebrated legacy -You feel like the end product really does make the world a better place: at work are posted childrens' letters on recognizing bias and racism after Zootopia, Pacific Islanders visited after Moana to describe the positive impact it had on their communities.

    Show More

    Cons

    -Loss of some good people over the past couple years, with some voids left unfilled -It's a big company and it can feel like one -Minimal QA and build support available for the technical folk -Diminishing bonus perks (like Disneyland block out dates getting worse) -Your friends will never stop asking you for cheap Disneyland tickets

    Advice to Management

    -Upcoming streaming business can help address historically stagnant career advancement opportunities -Minimize administrative overhead -Keep taking risks and trust your employees!

    Walt Disney Animation Studios2018-12-20
  4. Helpful (8)

    "Not a good place for good engineers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Fun environment. Nice building with art everywhere. Interesting activities, movie screenings, etc. People will be impressed that you work there. You're surrounded by spectacularly talented artists. You get to work on movies, and pretty decent ones too. Hours are good. You get into the Disney parks for free (well in theory -- there are a whole lot of blackout dates). Pay is OK. Wrap parties are fun. Some... opportunities to get sent to conferences and such. Some really, really great people here.

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    Cons

    The artists are the stars here, and if you're not one you're second tier. It's not terrible, but you will probably be jammed in a weird corner of the basement, and you won't get a shout out at wrap parties or anything. This is a company by artists, for artists. The tech management over the last few years is a real problem from the CTO on down. They talk a good game about doing big things and I think they mean... well, but they're indecisive, there is a crazy amount of micromanagement, and they play favorites so you better be real good at politics. Quality of engineering is inconsistent. Chances for advancement or promotion are rare. Initiative is mostly not rewarded. There are still some really great engineers here but the quality of the staff is decreasing as many of the really good engineers have gotten fed up and left. It's too bad because this could be a great engineering org, but instead it's very medium tier and slowly getting worse as the talent leaves. If you're a mediocre software engineer, you could do worse. The paycheck is steady. If you're really good though, you can honestly do a lot better (not just a FAANG, you have lots of options), make a lot more money and work in a place that appreciates you.

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    Advice to Management

    If you actually want a world class technical staff, show them some trust instead of trying to micromanage every tiny thing. Find the people who actually make impact, give them some room to actually do some useful work and support them, and get out of their way. If you don't care, then keep doing what you're doing. Lots of recruiters hitting up your engineers.

    Walt Disney Animation Studios2018-12-23
  5. "Supportive environment for growth as an artist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Burbank, CA

    I have been working at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - family oriented - lots of resources within the company to help you grow as an artist - generous sharing of knowledge among employees across departments to help each other out - generally safe and respectful work environment

    Cons

    - hourly rate is lower compared to other studios

    Advice to Management

    - create more opportunity of growth for everyone

    Walt Disney Animation Studios2018-12-15
  6. Helpful (7)

    "Where careers come to die"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Casual dressing/environment, opportunity to work with creative minds, brand/name/product recognition, beautiful building, good benefits and perks

    Cons

    Extremely political in all sense! Catering to their “soft skills” becomes a full time job, no place for career growth and opportunities (unless you win their popularity contest), lack of accountability and direction, and an overall sense of lack of appreciation to employees

    Advice to Management

    If you are part of the executive group and reading this you already know what you need to do because every person that have left this place have told you why we left! Stop being so arrogant and not caring to improve and change because you can have a replacement in days! Talented people with deep understanding of the craft leave because we need opportunities to continue to grow our career, to feel appreciated, and... maybe even get some raises!

    Show More
    Walt Disney Animation Studios2018-12-16
  7. Helpful (4)

    "Amazing experience but work was punishing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Programmer in Burbank, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Some of the most talented and creative people in the industry work here. I learned a lot in short space of time and felt privileged to be a member of my team. Being at the fount of Disney's creative output felt very special and the company goes out of its way to make the studio an inspiring place to work. The perks were good (if often food-related) and employee bonuses were also welcome.

    Cons

    Coming from the UK, I found the 10 days accrued vacation and the endless overtime very hard to adjust to. While the latter was optional, I felt like it was needed to meet production deadlines and make the salary feel competitive.

    Walt Disney Animation Studios2018-06-30
  8. Helpful (3)

    "Animation Studio"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production Artist in Burbank, CA
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Competitive pay. Creative environment and talented co workers. Nice perks .

    Cons

    Management fosters a culture of fear of losing your job. Very cliquish. Mixed bag of cool people and a-holes. Very corporate.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage creativity and cooperation and quit promoting psychopaths.

    Walt Disney Animation Studios2018-07-06
  9. Helpful (9)

    "Two faced management. Too much politics, very little focus on progress."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    None. There is potential and the place is full of talented individual contributors. Management decisions are however shady and counter productive.

    Cons

    Way too much focus on feeding egos and too little on improving the status quo.

    Advice to Management

    Better accountability for top management.

    Walt Disney Animation Studios2018-05-14
  10. Helpful (9)

    "Going from good to bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tech Worker in Burbank, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Upper mgmt has turned around studio and gets the human condition.

    Cons

    New CTO has isolated himself from tech workers. Managers micromanage engineers. If you like agile, here's the place to work. Great top management probably not long before retiring.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your tech workers, so stop meeting twice a day to manage them.

    Walt Disney Animation Studios2018-02-27
Found 63 reviews