Reported by Dayna Gonzalez.
Yesterday, Viacom went through yet another round of massive layoffs. I am saddened to hear that Nick Digital Animation Studios is no more. I don’t have much information and I think changes are ongoing, but from what I know, the shows will all have to find new homes. Whether that means outsourcing to NYC studios or overseas I’m not sure. Dora, Diego, Bubbleguppies, Backyardigans, and Umi Zumi are all affected. Hardest hit will be Umiz, the only one to have animation in house.
As a longtime member of the NDAS family, I am truly heartbroken over this news. It was the last standing network animation studio in NYC, and its loss will be felt immensely. The recession has definitely hit hard here and it’s a tough time for the animation industry. To all those that are affected, my thoughts are with you. Words cannot express the tremendous sense of loss I feel. I will never forget my many years at Nick Digital, times shared, friendships made; you all are like family to me. I also found out that Word World went out of business a couple weeks ago as well. It may look bleak out there right now, but we are not the only ones facing job loss, the entire country is. We are just another victim, but if I know anything about NYC animation, I know we are survivors too. The industry here is close-knit, it endures through thick and thin, and I know it will bounce back. The NYC independent animation scene is thriving and that is a great thing to see and be inspired by. ASIFA-East is doing well too and serves as a great resource for our community. NYC events in animation are at an all time high. We will bounce back.
Of course, the time is ripe for a rich savior to step in and save the day here… there is so much talent here, what are you waiting for?…. But seriously, we will overcome this and I have faith NYC animation will endure.
RIP Nick Digital and Word World. May the long winter spring better times ahead.
All the best, Dayna.