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FAQs

GENERAL

Where are your offices?

Our office is located in Los Angeles County in the city of Burbank. We are about ten miles north of downtown nestled in an entertainment valley of movie studios, television productions, and related industry companies. We live in Fantasia's sorcerer's hat across the street from the original animation studio where many of our films were made.

How can I submit an idea?

We rely primarily on our directors for story ideas and only accept external creative ideas through agent representation. 

It is the long-standing policy of The Walt Disney Company (including its subsidiary and affiliated companies) not to accept, but rather to reject the submission of ideas without prior authorized invitation. The word “ideas” in this context includes all creative suggestions, artwork, designs, theme park attraction concepts, game proposals, scripts, treatments, manuscripts, and songs, in whatever form, from whatever source, and however communicated.

How can I connect with a Disney representative for an informal interview, school book reports, career counseling, or general advice?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide informal interviews because we are working on our next films. However, in the future, we will be posting our outreach schedule and you will be able to connect with us there.

What commercial software applications do you use?

CG Packages: Autodesk Maya, Houdini Paint Programs: Adobe Photoshop, Zbrush, Deep Paint 3D, Corel Painter Compositing/Rendering Programs: Combustion, Shake, Boujou, Renderman, Mental Ray Languages: C/C++, Perl, Mel, Python, JavaScript, OpenGL, RSL

How can I schedule a tour to see Walt Disney Animation Studios?

We are very busy making our next films and cannot accommodate tours at this time.

CAREERS

What are the requirements for getting a job at Walt Disney Animation Studios?

Walt Disney Animation Studios retains complete discretion in its hiring decisions. Generally, any open position will require a strong resume, and if applicable a portfolio and/or reel, shot breakdown and submission form which address the requirements of the position. You must love making movies, solving creative problems, and working in a team environment.

What kinds of careers are available at Walt Disney Animation Studios?

Our multi-discipline team consists of artists, engineers, production management, finance, operations, and a multitude of other necessary roles. For more information, please visit our Careers in Animation page.

Is it necessary to have professional experience to apply for an artistic position?

No, it is not necessary to have professional experience. A great portfolio and/or reel will showcase your potential and passion to your craft. If you are a recent graduate, please visit our Student Programs page for more information.

How do I apply for artistic opportunities?

Fill out our online application to create a profile – we are always accepting applications for job opportunities. Also, make sure to check out and apply for any Open Positions.

What's the best way to apply for technical opportunities?

Fill out our online application to create a profile – we are always accepting applications for job opportunities. Also, make sure to check out and apply for any Open Positions.

Will you confirm receipt of my application and reel?

Yes, if you choose to mail in your application, you will get notified of our receipt through your online profile. If you are uploading artwork or submitting a website, your profile will display that information.

What is the interview process? How soon can I expect to hear from someone?

Upon receipt of your resume, portfolio and/or reel you will receive notification. Your work will be reviewed shortly thereafter. Next steps vary and could include a phone interview or a formal interview. If you don't hear from us within 30 days, it is safe to assume that the position was filled.

When is the submission period?

We are always accepting submissions for job opportunities, regardless of current openings.

Do I need to speak/write English to apply?

Yes, you will need to have strong English speaking and writing skills.

SUBMITTING PORTFOLIOS/REELS/RESUMES-CV FOR JOB OPPORTUNITIES

What material is required for an artistic application?

A resume, portfolio, and/or reel, shot breakdown (if applicable).

What should be included in a portfolio?

If you are submitting a portfolio, please send copies of your work (DO NOT send originals.) We recommend that you present your best work and limit your items accordingly.

Organize your portfolio by highlighting your main passion first. Make sure to include your best work throughout. Include paintings, life drawing, animal sketches, and samples of your sketchbook. Include the right number to showcase your skills – no more than 25 samples.

What should be included on a reel? What length should my reel be?

Reels should be 3-5 minutes in length with an emphasis on your best work. Focus on quality rather than quantity. Each discipline is different and you should assemble your reel accordingly. For example, an Animation reel should include: a variety of lip sync, acting and action shots.

What is the best format for my application?

We ask that you choose one way of submitting your portfolio/reel: Upload, Website or Mail.

Digital files will only be accepted as .jpg, .pdf., .doc, .mov and .mp4 format. .jpg and .pdf files must be RGB color format – minimum size 11" X 8.5" (1553 X1200 pixels) at 150 dpi and follow the naming format: Firstname_Lastname_#.jpg (john_smith_01.jpg). Do not use spaces or any special characters (&%}$#@(!*=+:>?~\|,;) in the file names. A single PDF file can be presented as a booklet form containing multiple files. Each file is limited to a maximum size of 100MB.

All DVDs must be NTSC with a Region Code 1 (USA, Canada) or Region Code 0 (Region Free).

Will my portfolio/reel be returned?

We do not return any submission. DO NOT send original art work.

What should be included on my resume-CV?

Your resume should include your key contact information. It is helpful to include your blog or website if they demonstrate your work. Include your work history, including movies, titles, or projects you worked on. Also, include software applications, scripting language, educational focus. Hobbies and references are helpful.

Are there artistic tests for animators?

Not at this time, but please keep checking back.

STUDENT PROGRAMS

What should I study to get a job at Walt Disney Animation Studios? What school should I attend?

Walt Disney Animation Studios Artists and Technicians come from a variety of backgrounds that emphasize creative excellence in a collaborative environment. They each share an attention to artistic detail, a keen sense of observation and a clear idea of their own strengths and personal passions. When reviewing school options, look for places that have relationships with animation and/or film companies and provide programs that include some of the following course attributes:

Drawing

  • Life drawing
  • Quick studies
  • Head, hands, and feet drawing
  • Anatomy
  • Clothed-figure studies
  • Animal drawing
  • Quick sketches of urban surroundings and landscapes
  • Sequential Drawing – Drawing that tells a story in consecutive sequences

Animation and Acting Skills

  • Squash and stretch
  • Anticipation
  • Composition & staging
  • Straight ahead action and pose to pose
  • Follow through and overlapping action
  • Slow in and slow out
  • Arcs
  • Secondary action
  • Timing
  • Physics
  • Dialogue & lip sync
  • Exaggeration
  • Solid drawing
  • Caricature
  • Appeal

Design and Color

  • Design
  • Composition
  • Perspective
  • Color theory
  • Illustration
  • Painting

Film

  • Screenwriting
  • Cinematography
  • Visual effects
  • Film production: Directing, producing, storyboarding, concept design, art direction, production design, set design, model making and post production
  • Film history, theory, and analysis

Additional Areas of Focus

  • Acting
  • Improvisation
  • Costume design
  • Sculpting
  • Architecture
  • Interior design
  • Literature
  • Art history
  • Fine art
  • Photography
  • Graphic design
  • Industrial design
  • Automotive design
  • Product design
  • Theater

Technology

  • CG packages: AutoDesk Maya, Houdini
  • Paint programs: Adobe Photoshop, Zbrush, Deep Paint 3D, Corel Painter
  • Compositing/rendering programs: Combustion, Shake, Boujou, Renderman, Mental Ray
  • Languages: C/C++, Perl, Mel, Python, JavaScript, OpenGL, RSL

What opportunities are there for recent graduates and students currently enrolled in school?

Opportunities are available for students of art and animation, fine art and design, computer graphics, engineering, production and general film studies. Two tracks take students and recent graduates through the art of filmmaking and animation support: the Talent Development Program and the Associate Program.

The Talent Development Program is available for recent graduates of undergraduate or graduate programs (within three years of graduation date) for a 3 or 6 month paid position at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Students currently enrolled in school should apply to our Summer Associate Program. Our ten-week Art & Production Associate Program has been created for students who will be returning to school in the fall.

For more information, please visit our Student Programs page.

What roles are available for the Talent Development & Associate Programs?

Traditional and CG roles are available in the areas of:

  • Story
  • Visual Development
  • Modeling
  • Animation
  • Layout
  • Texture Painting
  • Background Painting
  • Effects Animation
  • Lighting & Compositing
  • Technical Director - Character
  • Technical Director - Hair/Cloth
  • Technical Director - Look
  • Technical Director - Effects
  • Technical Director - Pipeline
  • Production Management
  • Post Production

Technical roles only for the Associate Program are available in the areas of:

  • Software Engineering
  • Development Tools Systems Administration
  • Graphics Tools Software Engineering
  • Engineering Technical Support

What's the difference between an internship and Disney's Associate Program?

There is no difference between an "Internship" and our "Associate Program." We call our interns "Associates."

Can I receive credit for the Associate Program?

It depends on your educational institution. Please check with your student advisor.

Can I apply for the Associate Program if I am in High School?

No, our programs are for college students.

When is the submission period?

Talent Development Program:

Generally, we have two start dates: Fall and Spring. Due to the rolling nature of the start date, each program's application deadline will be listed in the job post. As with all Student Programs, please apply to your desired position(s) on our Open Positions page by creating/updating your online career profile.

Art & Production Associate Program:

Open positions are generally posted at the beginning of each calendar year. The application deadline will be listed in the job post.

Technology Associate Program:

Open positions for the Summer Technology Program are generally posted at the end of each calendar year.

How do I apply for the Student Programs?

Fill out our online application to create a profile. Make sure to apply under Open Positions for "Associate Program" or "Talent Development Program."

Will you confirm receipt of my application and reel and when will I be informed of my status with the Program?

Yes, if you choose to mail in your application, you will get notified of our receipt through your online profile. If you are uploading artwork or submitting a website, your profile will display that information as well.

After you apply through our Open Positions for the "Associate Program" or "Talent Development Program", you can view the status bar on your profile to see where we are in the application process.

Will I be able to receive feedback on my portfolio and/or reel?

It is very difficult to provide feedback on your portfolio and/or reel. We attend several conferences and festivals throughout the year. These are the best forums to receive direct feedback from our artists.

Where are the Programs located? Are moving/housing costs provided?

Our office is located in Los Angeles County in the city of Burbank about ten miles north of downtown. A basic relocation package is available for those who qualify and varies depending on the location of your legal residence. Some relocation benefits are considered imputed income and have a tax impact. If accepted into any of our programs, this information will be explained in more detail.

What if I am an international student?

International students can apply for the Talent Development and Associate Programs.

For students attending school outside of the United States, upon acceptance a variety of steps are required in order to qualify for the proper work visa. Please allow at least two months.

For students attending school within the United States, upon acceptance will need to obtain the proper visa through your school's international advisor. Please allow at least one month.

These can both be lengthy processes and can vary from country to county and person to person. It is recommended that international students apply as early as possible.

Do I need to speak/write English to apply?

Yes, to experience our studio to its fullest, you will need to have strong speaking and writing skills in English. We do not have translators on site.

How can I schedule a tour to see Walt Disney Animation Studios?

Tours can be scheduled through your professor or your school's Career Services offices. We are unable to provide individual tours.