VFX Shop Behind ‘The Lion King’ Shuts Down Vancouver Studio
VFX studio Motion Picture Company (MPC), responsible for the visual effects in Disney’s 2019 live-action The Lion King, is reportedly closing the shutters on its Vancouver office, as of this morning. This decision comes only months after the movie became the fourth Disney film to break $1 billion at the box office this year. Their studios in Toronto, Montreal, LA, Paris, and Adelaide will remain open. According to Cartoon Brew, a letter circulating online revealed the closure was due to “increasing external market pressures in Vancouver and more attractive opportunities in other locations.”
If you've managed to avoid seeing the heavily disappointing The Lion King this year, chances are you’ve still seen the impressive work created by MPC elsewhere. They have credits on other Disney remakes like The Jungle Book and Dumbo, as well as Blade Runner 2049, X-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy. The Vancouver office even contributed to the redesign of the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog, which could be considered an act of public service. So it comes as a bit of a shock that the branch is shutting down, but pre-existing issues with how billion-dollar corporations operate in relation to VFX studios have been surfacing over the past couple years.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. Back in 2014, the documentary Rhythm & Hues: Life After Pi revealed internal problems within the VFX industry after VFX house Rhythm & Hues filed for bankruptcy the same year they won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for Life of Pi.
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