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As part of its recent belt-tightening, Walt Disney Studios will be laying off almost 500 of its animators, according to the Los Angeles Times. Out animation chief Tom Schumacher says that those who remain can expect salary cuts of 30% to 50%. Veteran Disney artist Dave Pruiksma wrote to his colleagues last month that I have watched with increasing concern and consternation as the artists of the studio were ever increasingly left out of the creative process to the point where their contribution was reduced to little more than numbers on a ledger. Disney management insists that this is all fat-trimming and will in no way affect the product for which the studio has become so famous. Schumacher said, Ive never seen a time when our films are more vital and theres greater creative range and diversity in our movies. He elaborates, I have an obligation to the company and to shareholders to be producing movies for the appropriate cost of what it takes to make them.