Pixar and Dreamworks Swap Animators at Trade Deadline

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Pixar Animation Studios has announced a trade with Dreamworks SKG Pictures ahead of the September 11th Trade Deadline. In the trade, Dreamworks will give up Modeler Jason Baldwin, Surfacer Fernanda S. Abarca, and Matte Painter Justin Brandstater. In exchange, Pixar will send Animator Erick Oh, Layout Artist Andrew Cadelago, and an intern to be named later to Dreamworks.

Every year, as the success of animated features ebbs and flows, the major animation studios trade animators and other crew members between organizations. In 1989, the Association of Skilled Animators (ASA) which overseas and verifies the trades, instituted a trade deadline of September 11th each year. The idea was meant to give animators and their families enough time to get acclimated into their new surroundings in time for the approaching busy holiday season.

“September 11th is always an exciting time every year for us,” Brad Danielson, Vice President of ASA’s Talent Acquisition and Releases tells us. “This is the time when rosters are solidified and final preparations to engage in the war for that coveted holiday box office cash can begin.”

Each year since the trade deadline was instituted in 1989 has seen many exciting trades. We spoke to Thomas Jefferson Geronimo III, a Trade Deadline Analyst who follows and speculates on trades between animation studios year round.

“Who could forget the trade for MGM’s Background Artist Barry Atkinson for Disney’s Supervising Animator Ruben A. Aquino in 1989?” Geronimo said. “Or how about Pixar’s trade of Story Artist Kelly Asbury for Disney’s Color Model Mark-Up Artist Sherrie Cuzzort in 1995?”

Geronimo went on to say that while many insiders argue over which trades may have been a better match, all can agree that the biggest and most shocking trade deadline happened on September 11, 2001. On that trade deadline, Pixar traded Layout Artist Robert Anderson and Animator Kyle Balda for Dreamworks’ Story Artist Ken Bruce and Animator Chung Chan.

“When that trade went down, my colleagues and I just sat there staring blankly at the television set in horror,” Geronimo said of the 2001 trade. “We each started calling our family members and said, ‘Are you seeing this? Turn on the TV.’ I think everyone was shocked Pixar gave up Anderson and Balda. Even today in 2016, no one has forgotten that day. It even became a hashtag.”

Indeed, every year at the ASA trade deadline, social media explodes with hashtags of “#NeverForget” and “#RememberSept11” in honor of the trade deadline.

“I think the hashtags are a good way serve as a reminder to everyone on what this day means,” Danielson said. “No one is safe. Anyone can be traded. Never forget that.”

Keep your eyes on TyphoidLagoon.com for more trade deadline coverage.

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