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Is Disney Replacing Its Animators With AI? The Truth May Be Scary

Disney Replacing Animators with AI

It’s no secret that Disney has been having some problems settling on a contract with its Cast Members. Walt Disney World Cast Members have been working without a contract since last October and, more recently, rejected a contract offer from Disney. CEO Bob Iger has also recently announced massive layoffs at the Walt Disney Company. It would appear to be the wrong time to be working for Disney.

And now, things are seemingly about to get much worse. With Disney unveiling its new robot characters early this week, it would appear that the future of the Disney Parks experience might end up in AI. That hard truth may also end up being true for the Walt Disney Studios Animation Department as well with the unveiling of a new AI technology.

Disney Replacing Animators with AI

Credit: Disney

Corridor Digital has released a controversial new seven-minute movie, Rock, Paper, Scissors, which was entirely animated using AI technology. The film uses Anime style art to create the entire seven minutes.

The technology behind this new film is called Stable Diffusion. It uses actors in front of a green screen, and then the computer generates images that correspond with what the actors are doing in front of the screens.

At issue is where the computer is able to get these images from. The AI can copy images from all over the internet without giving proper credit to the original creators. Besides the obvious legal issues with stealing someone else’s images and ideas, there is also the possibility that this technology could end the need for human animators.

Disney Replacing Animators with AI

Rock, Paper, Scissors Credit: Corridor Digital

Recently, veteran Disney animators Tom and Tony Bancroft got a first-hand look at this new technology. Tom and Tony Bancroft have worked on Disney movies for over 30 years, including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, and Mulan. 

In the Corridor Crew’s Animators React YouTube Series, Tom and Tony Bancroft were astonished by what they saw from the AI creation. However, both agreed that it was raw and missed some minor points that a human animator would have picked up on.

Tony Bancroft’s initial reaction was:

This is AI? Look at how good that looks. This is killing me a little bit. We’re out of a job. The shadows look like they’re under water a little bit, but the shots are amazing. 

With Disney Animators struggling to unionize and the looming possibility of cuts to the department. Could AI be the next thing in Animation? Both Tony and Tom Bancroft agree that the technology is impressive, but it seems that it is still a few years away from taking either of their jobs.

But with incredible daily advancements, the future could be right around the corner for AI animation.

We will keep you updated on this and everything Disney-related at Disney Fanatic.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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